Bradycardia, abnormal ECG results


New to group. I have Bradycardia, was diagnosed a few years ago and usually have a heartbeat of high 40's/low 50's bpm. This hasn't really caused me any reason to worry until recently during investigations being done for Endometriosis I had a ecg done after complaining of left and right sided chest pain. My ecg has come back and doctors are now concerned and sending me for further tests on my heart. The ecg's I had done showed an etopic heartbeat and also a little 'downward spike' after each heartbeat. The 'downward spike' is what they seemed to be concerned about. I asked them what this meant but I couldn't seem to get a straight answer. Has anybody else been through something similiar? Does anybody know what this could mean? I realise it's slightly vague but I now have to sit tight and wait for an echocardiogram and a 24hr ecg and I have absolutely no idea what they are even worried about. I didn't think bradycardia was anything to worry about. Any advice would be much appreciated! Other symptoms are fainting episodes, blackouts, fatigue and low energy. Thanks. Xox

7 Replies

  • Some more knowledgable answers will follow but I think the downward bit may be ectopics- Bob will be better placed to answer

    regarding heart rate- my resting pulse is low 40s but the cardiology people say I don't need a pace maker "yet" However, the fainting and other symptoms are probably what they want to investigate- particularly the fainting and chest pain. It's good that they are checking you out properly

    Does your heart rate speed up with exercise? I think that helps them decide if something needs to be done about bradycardia as if it doesn't speed up there is a mis match between blood supply- and therefore oxygen- for you to do the exercise.

    Don't worry too much as it sounds as if you are in good hands- if nothing shows up, I would ask for a 5 or 7 day ECG as this sometimes is needed to see what is really happening.

  • Dear Raaraa, welcome to this forum. I joined over a year ago and the support, advice and information I have received from other members has really helped me tremendously.

    You mention you were diagnosed with bradycardia some years ago but did they explain why you were bradycardic? I have Atrial fibrillation but ventricular bradycardia and have had symptoms of feeling faint and dizzy and unwell, but I have not blacked out. I understand I am bradycardic as I have sinus node disease and conduction abnormalities at many levels including the AV node, this diagnosis was made about a year ago. I have been told my condition is very rare, and may not be the cause of your symptoms.

    I have even told I will need to be monitored by the consultant Electrophysiologist for the rest of y life. At the present time as my symptoms are very mild the only treatment I am having is an anticoagulant. I am learning to pace myself, difficult for me as I used to run around all the time. Last October I thought I might only manage part time work but I am back full time, But have to ensure I don't over-do it.

    From reading comments from other members AF can affect people in different ways but some symptoms seem common feeling faint, dizzy,tired, palpitations. It is, I think, very important to get an accurate diagnosis and see the right specialist, such as a cardiac Electrophysiologist and ensure you are monitored appropriately.

    I hope some of the above helps you. I am sure other members will also get back to you. Wishing you well and that you get your tests done soon with some reassuring information and advice about your health issues.

  • Welcome to our Atrial Fibrillation site and whilst there may be another Healthunlocked site for bradycardia you can ask here in case others know better. A "normal" ecg trace consists of a small blip, the P wave, followed by a taller spike which is the T wave or pumping contraction of the heart followed by the recovery. When the T wave is downwards this is usually an ectopic beat. ECTOPIC means out of place in medical terms so happens usually when there is no blood having been passed down from the left atria so the patient feels it as a"missed beat" as no blood is pumped on that occasion. I am not medically trained and would never consider I am able to read an ECG and to be honest many GPs fail to spot things or get things wrong, and especially the computer generated diagnosis which many ECG machine supply. ECGs are notoriously difficult to read properly although most GPs probably think they can. LOL I wouldn't worry too much at this stage although I might argue about the pacemaker if you are having blackouts as a result of bradycardia. Doubtless if you are a driver then you aren't driving at the moment and have informed DVLA of your blackouts.


  • Hi, thanks for replying. Interesting read. No luckily I don't drive! X

  • Hi raaraa. I've always wondered what's wrong with a slow heartbeat. Obviously it's bad if it gets very low and you don't function, but I was usually (before an ablation last March) in the forties, low fifties, 38 occasionally and it gave me no trouble at all. I didn't get breathless, tired, dizzy or anything untoward. I was entirely happy with my heart except when it occasionally slipped into being silly and even then if you met me you wouldn't think there was anything vey wrong. It's been faster since the ablation, which I found very odd at first, but it did slow down and has settled. Sounds like your downward spike may be some unusual part of the heartbeat that might be normal for you. Are you actually suffering from blackouts and other things you mention?

  • Hi, yeah I do suffer from blackouts/fainting. Fairly regularly. Thought it was a symptom of my endometriosis but now I think it's more likely to be my heart where sometimes it isn't pumping hard enough and not enough blood is getting to my head if that makes sense. Thanks for sharing xox

  • Yes, sounds a bit like something may not be spot on in your circulation. You can do without blackouts, so echocardiogram and ECG will be a useful way forward. I didn't have anything like fainting when I had endometriosis, although my heart did start its naughty downward path at that time - a little over 20 years ago. Good luck and keep us posted!

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