Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) in pediatric patients without structural heart disease and normal left ventricular systolic function rarely require therapy, though it is unknown whether these patients have subclinical cardiac dysfunction. Speckle tracking echocardiography is an additional means of evaluating cardiac function in asymptomatic pediatric PVC patients with normal standard measures of left ventricular (LV) function. Asymptomatic pediatric patients (< 21 years) without congenital heart disease, LV ejection fraction (LVEF) ≥ 55% and PVC burden ≥ 5% on 24-h Holter monitor were included. Demographic information, exercise stress test results, standard echocardiographic measures of LV systolic function and PVC morphology by 12-lead ECG were collected. Peak global systolic longitudinal strain (GLS) from apical four-chamber view was analyzed offline. 29 patients were identified (mean age 11.7 ± 5.8 years, 49.2 ± 25.3 kg, 59% male). Mean PVC burden was 12.0 ± 7.0% (range 5–37.5%). 14/29 (48%) had exercise stress testing with evidence of PVCs; 9/14 (64%) had PVC suppression at a mean heart rate (HR) of 160 ± 23 bpm and 5/14 (36%) did not suppress at a mean maximum HR of 188 ± 9 bpm. All patients had normal strain values by speckle tracking echocardiography (mean LV GLS − 22.5 ± 2.0%, LV global circumferential strain − 25.3 ± 3.9 and RV GLS − 24.1 ± 3.0%). There was no correlation between PVC burden and cardiac function parameters. Asymptomatic pediatric patients without structural heart disease, preserved LVEF/shortening fraction and PVC burden ≥ 5% demonstrated normal cardiac function including strain patterns indicating no evidence of subclinical cardiac dysfunction. Larger scale studies and longitudinal evaluation of left ventricular function using speckle tracking echocardiography is warranted in this population.
- Global longitudinal strain
- Premature ventricular contractions
- Speckle tracking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine