This ECG was recorded from a 25-year-old pregnant woman who complained of an irregular heart beat.
Auscultation revealed a soft systolic murmur but her heart was otherwise normal. What does the ECG show and what would you do?
The ECG shows:
The extrasystoles are fairly frequent but the ECG is otherwise normal. Ventricular extrasystoles are very common in pregnancy, and systolic murmurs are almost universal. Her heart is almost certainly normal.
Remember that anaemia is a common cause of a systolic murmur. Doubts about the significance of the murmur can be resolved by echocardiography, Summary but this need not be performed in every pregnant Sinus rhythm with ventricular extrasystoles. woman – it is best reserved for the investigation of apparently important murmurs that persist after delivery. The patient should be reassured and the extrasystoles left untreated.