Ectopic beat

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Ectopic beat
Classification and external resources
MedlinePlus 001100
MeSH D005117

Ectopic beat (or cardiac ectopy) is a disturbance of the cardiac rhythm frequently related to the electrical conduction system of the heart, in which beats arise from fiber or group of fibers outside the region in the heart muscle ordinarily responsible for impulse formation (i.e., the sinoatrial node). Depending upon the origins of the ectopic beat within the myocardium, an ectopic beat can be further classified as either:

Some patients describe this experience as a 'flip' or a 'jolt' in the chest, while others report dropped or missed beats. Such extrasystoles are more common during periods of stress or debility; they may also be triggered by consumption of some food like alcohol, strong cheese, or chocolate.

It is a form of cardiac arrhythmia in which ectopic foci within either ventricular or atrial myocardium, or from finer branches of the electric transduction system, cause additional beats of the heart. Some medications may worsen the phenomenon.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ectopic heartbeat". Medline Plus. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 24 October 2013.