I just restored my Omron heart rate monitor watch. I presently have bradycardia with PVC’s.  Also, an Assurity 2272 pacemaker. Low end set at 80bpm. To my surprise, when I put this unit on my chest and watch on the wrist , Am I reading my actual heart rate with no interference from PVC’s? Anyone have an answer?  Thanks


PVCs and heart rate monitors

by AgentX86 - 2019-08-08 08:16:16

How are you measuring your pulse? What counts as a heartbeat?

Cheap heart rate monitors, like the ones used in blood pressure machines are similar to pulse-ox sensors. They're looking at the blood flow in the small arteries. PVCs,  or the normal beat after a PVC tend to be weak, so may not register on the machine. In fact, you may not feel PVCs in your wrist but may be palpitating your carotid.

These devices aren't to be trusted when any arrhythmia is involved.

Discrepancy between HR monitors--what does it mean?

by Gotrhythm - 2019-08-09 15:13:12

In terms of "actual" heart rate there isn't any difference between PVCs and other beats. The heart rate is the total number of heart contractions in a minute. A PVC is a contraction.

But I think you're wondering if you can figure out how many PVCs are included in any bpm number, by noting the discrepancy between various fingertip and wirst measuring devices.

I don't know, but I don't think so. As AgentX says, those devices aren't really measuring heart contractions. They are measuring blood flow, and there could be a difference in blood flow between a wrist and a finger. 

To know for sure which beats are PVCs, and which are not, I think you would need something that actually measures the electrical activity of the heart--an EKG.

There are home EKG monitors on the market, but I don't have any experience with them.

Consumer grade EKG

by AgentX86 - 2019-08-09 15:59:50

There are a few of these on the market. The most popular are the Kardia Mobile original single-lead EKG,and a newer six-lead version (a normal EKG is twelve-lead). There is also the Apple iWatch-4.

All of these are designed and qualified for use in diagnosing episodes of Afib, only. They will tell you if you're not in Afib or that you might be. They won't diagnose PACs or PVCs. However, they will output EKG strips, so if you know how to read an EKG, you can see them for yourself. It doesn't help measure the PAC/PVC burden, however. The EKG strips are too short. That really takes continuous monitoring with something like a Holter.

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