Can one tell the difference between a PVC and a PAC

Hi all, since acquiring AF I've been experiencing a load of ectopics. I understand PACs are from the atria and PVCs are from the ventricles. Is there a way to tell them apart? I've had 48hr holter and I was told I had a number of PVCs. Since then my 'ectopic load' appears to have increased (possibly with switching from Tildiazem to Bisoprolol). I have a Kardia so I can pick the ectopics up quite easily on there. Is there a way to understand, either via the Kardia or simply through understanding the sensation, if an ectopic is a PAC or a PVC? Thanks in advance!

8 Replies

  • PVCs show as a dip below the base line on your Kardia. PACs spike upwards


  • To add to the other comments, a PAC on your Kardia usually looks like a normal beat but is early, whereas a PVC is usually wider, more 'misshapen' and below the base line as Pat says.

    I can sometimes tell the difference in feeling - a slight hic is usually a PAC and a softened whump a PVC.

    PS - found this showing PVC's on a Kardia:

  • Brilliant! Thanks fallingtopieces, Buffafly and Finvola for your responses. From your comments I can now confirm I don't really get PACs and only get PVCs (both in terms of sensation and Kardia readout).

  • Send your Kardia recordings to me and I will label them as “A” for PAC or “V” for PVC. My email is

  • Thank-you Dr Dave! It's great that you're on here monitoring the forum.

  • I have tended to feel the difference between PACs and PVCs in that the former are felt in my chest area while the latter more in my solar plexis. I was able to tell my EP when I felt a PVC during a stress test which he confirmed on the monitor. That said, I think there is no benefit in trying to parse which one is which and instead think of them as 'palpitations' due to AF. I spent so many years trying to figure out what was causing my AF and what was going on when I felt a palpitation that I was wasting my life doing so. More useful is to spend your time in meditation, heathy eating, moderate exercise like good old fashioned walking, etc. and develop a plan for managing your AF like, perhaps, an ablation. Take care.


  • Wise words Plantwords.

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