Premature Atrial Complexes (PACs) in Children

Premature atrial complexes (PACs), sometimes called atrial premature complexes (APCs), are caused by activation of the electrical system in the top of the heart earlier than expected. This can be due to an early electrical signal coming from the sinus node or an electrical signal coming from somewhere else in the top of the heart. 

Signs and Symptoms

PACs generally do not cause symptoms and are often only found incidentally during evaluation for other problems.  Sometimes, patients may report feeling a “skipped beat” or an “extra beat” in their heart rhythm.

Diagnosis

Your doctor or health care team may refer you to a pediatric electrophysiologist (EP) or someone who specializes in children with heart rhythm disorders.

PACs are diagnosed when they are seen on a heart rhythm recording. These could include but not limited to:

Treatment

If a patient does not have any other heart problems, PACs by themselves are considered benign and do not require any treatment.

Lifestyle changes

There are no lifestyle changes required for patients with PACs.