Finally, various forms of cardiovascular disease always need to be considered whenever you have any type of irregular heartbeat. Premature ventricular beats may occur after suffering a heart attack or having compromised overall heart function, which occurs in the setting of heart failure. Premature beats in these settings need to be evaluated carefully because they can signal a person at high risk for experiencing sudden cardiac death. Echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, and electrophysiology studies are all potentially helpful to further delineate a person's risk for sudden death in the presence of frequent premature beats.
In the absence of identifiable causes, premature beats, including bigeminy, are not typically treated. If a predisposing factor can be identified, treating or eliminating the predisposing factor usually reduces or eliminates the abnormal heart rhythm. At the extreme, for individuals with structural heart disease due to heart attack or heart failure, anti-arrhythmic medications or a pacemaker/automatic implantable defibrillator may be necessary to suppress the abnormal rhythm and reduce an individual's future risk of sudden cardiac death.