Heart Palpitation

What is a Heart Palpitation?

Heart palpitation is a heightened awareness of your own heartbeat that is beating too fast, skipping a beat, fluttering, or otherwise irregular. You may also feel this sensation in your chest, throat, or neck. These usually not serious or harmful and may be a result of stress and anxiety, or other factors.

Palpitations can be a sign of heart conditions that can be more serious in some cases. It can also result from a range of heart arrhythmias, which are classified by region, and type of heartbeat.

What are the types of Heart Palpitation?

Supraventricular tachycardia

A rapid heart rate that can cause a very quick or erratic heartbeat.

Atrial fibrillation

It is the most common type of arrhythmia, which can result in a rapid and erratic heartbeat. It may lead to serious clotting conditions or stroke by interfering with blood flow to the ventricles.

Ventricular tachycardia

A rapid heartbeat originating from the ventricles (lower heart chambers). This arrhythmia may be related to structural heart disease and may cause loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest or sudden death.

What are the symptoms of Heart Palpitation?

  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fainting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pain, pressure, or tightening in your chest
  • Pain in your arms, neck, chest, jaw, or upper back
  • Resting pulse rate of more than 100 beats per minute


An echocardiogram is a form of ultrasound which shows your heart's movement, structure, and function.

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
An electrocardiogram records the electrical impulses traveling through the heart.

Listen as Dr. Ruth Kam discusses heart palpitations and what you should do if you experience them:

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