Health Care

Understanding Prolonged PR Interval

Have you ever heard of a prolonged PR interval? It’s an ECG finding that is important to understand. The PR interval is the time it takes for electrical impulses generated in the heart to travel from the atria to the ventricles. When this time period is longer than normal, it can be a sign of an underlying health issue.

The normal duration of a PR interval should be between 0.12 and 0.20 seconds, measured from the beginning of the P wave to the beginning of the QRS complex on an electrocardiogram ECG. When this time is longer than normal, it’s known as a prolonged PR interval.

A number of things can cause a prolonged PR interval including:

• Heart disease such as cardiomyopathy or myocarditis

• Certain medications like beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers

• Underlying genetic conditions like first-degree AV block or Wolf–Parkinson–White syndrome

In some cases, no treatment may be necessary if there are no symptoms associated with a prolonged PR interval asymptomatic. However, those who experience symptoms such as palpitations or shortness of breath should see their doctor right away for further evaluation and treatment options. Treatment will likely include lifestyle changes and medications depending on what caused your condition in the first place.