Return to Index
Sick Sinus Syndrome
(SSS; Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome; Sinus Node Dysfunction)
- Bradycardia —abnormally slow heart rate
- Tachycardia —abnormally fast heart rate
- Bradycardia-tachycardia—the heart alternates between too fast and too slow
|Anatomy of the Heart|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Intrinsic causes (problems within the heart tissue), such as degeneration of the sinus node, long-term illness, or even surgical injury
- Extrinsic causes (outside factors acting on the heart tissue), such as exposure to toxins or certain pharmacological agents
- Age 50 and older, and especially age 65 and older
Some medications may worsen symptoms:
- Calcium channel blockers
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Fainting or dizziness
- Confusion or light-headedness
- Facial flushing
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) —measures the electrical activity of the heart and can detect abnormal heart rhythms
- Holter monitoring—continuous monitoring to observe episodes of tachycardia and bradycardia over an extended period of time
- Electrophysiology study (EPS)—invasive test where electrical wires are placed into the heart to test the conduction system of the heart
- Make sure to get treatment for any heart disorders you might have.
- Make sure any doctor you see is aware of your heart conditions. Some medications should be avoided.
American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org/
Heart Rhythm Society http://www.hrsonline.org/
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca/home/index%5Fe.aspx/
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com/
Adan V, Crown LA. Diagnosis and treatment of sick sinus syndrome. Am Fam Physician . 2003;67(8):1725-1738.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Sick sinus syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated June 28, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2010.
Heart Rhythm Society. Sick sinus syndrome. Heart Rhythm Society website. Available at: http://www.hrspatients.org.patients/heart%5Fdisorders/sick%5Fsinus/default.asp . Accessed July 28, 2005.
Merck Manual. Sick sinus syndrome. Merck Manual website. Available at: http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual/section16/chapter205/205o.jsp . Accessed July 28, 2005.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 01/14/2014