What are the causes of ventricular arrhythmias, VT, Bigeminy and Trigeminy?

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Submitted by Dr T on September 24, 2010 – 8:24am

I have blogged about palpitations and VT before. You can read more about that here:


You’ll find these are rather common complaints and most people don’t need treatment, only reassurance once their heart proves OK.

Trigeminyc(or Bigeminy) can be caused by a host of factors.
There are two kinds of Trigeminy:
1)Two normal beats are followed by an extra beat; this rhythm usually does not progress to dangerous forms of fast ventricular rhythms;
2) A group of 3 beats, usually one normal beat followed by 2 extra beats.
This condition may be caused by other heart disease, or causes that include medications, too much caffeine, cocaine use, stress and other factors.

What are the causes of ventricular arrhythmias?

Some cases are simply “normal variants”, occurring in otherwise normal individuals.

Other causes include :

  1. A variety of underlying cardiac conditions, including coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, mitral valve prolapse, etc.
  2. Abnormal levels of “electrolytes” (minerals) in the blood. Decreased potassium and/or magnesium are the most common associated abnormalities of electrolytes. Both may be caused by the use of diuretics (water pills), among other reasons.
  3. There are unusual congenital (familial) causes of ventricular arrhythmias.
  4. Abnormal conditions such as increased thyroid hormones, and others.
  5. Toxins, including alcohol.
  6. Stimulants such as
    + Caffeine Nicotine and/or Cocaine can cause serious ventricular arrhythmias.
    + Some over-the-counter medications and herbal/natural formulations contain important stimulants
  7. Infection, inflammation or degeneration of the heart muscle.
  8. Infections at other sites in the body.
  9. They are often worse with lack of sleep, or stress.
  10. There are also other causes.



Submitted by Dr T on September 8, 2014 – 4:26am.

1. Drinking coffee and other stimulants may increase the incidence of palpitations and arrhythmias. If you haven’t notice any change/improvement there is no need to stop your coffee drinking.

2. One baby ASA/day acts as a pain reliever, heart attack preventer and possible cancer preventer rolled into one tablet. If you have not expereinced any side effect such as bruising with such a small dose I’d recommend you to continue.

Hope this helps,

Submitted by Dr T on July 6, 2014 – 12:55pm.

I am surprised your doctors recommended an ablation so early on in your diagnosis/treatment. Go back to your doctors and ask for another evaluation. If necessary, ask for a second opinion from another cardiologist.

Hope this helps,

Submitted by Dr T on June 4, 2014 – 9:28am.

Hi Teresa,

I think you are right to be concerned. Any new arrhythmia needs to be evaluated, especially in a patient with congenital heart defects, whether repaired or not. I advice to call your doctor and ask for an explanation and testing!

Hope this helps,

Submitted by Dr T on January 4, 2014 – 9:40am.

I assume you have been checked for the possible causes of bigeminiPalpitations and Arrhythmias.

Your doctors need to make sure your heart is otherwise normal. Specifically, depending your ag and cardiac risk factors,  coronary artery disease needs to be excluded. This is best done with a Holter monitor, blood tests and a stress ECHO.

Those “sports drinks” may contain caffeine and sugar that are stimulants and may worsen your bigemini. Look above for the other causes. 

Hope this helps,
Dr T

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    Hi Dr.. I m priya.. My age is 38 yrs.. I m suffering from ventricular trigeminy last 1 month.. Taking medicine also.. My question is , is it curable r life long going to like this ?? Please answer ..

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