FAQ - sick sinus syndrome
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can sick sinus syndrome of the heart get worse even when the person has a pacemaker?

What is called "sick sinus syndrome" is when the natural pacemaker in the heart isn't sending impulses in a timely manner to keep the beats regular. The symptoms progress over time until finally the person requires an artificial battery operated pacemaker implant to regulate the heartbeat within normal range. After reading numerous articles on Google about this problem, nowhere could I find anything that explained the outcome of the sick sinus syndrome after a pacemaker was implanted after some time goes by. If the pacemaker is regulating the heart rate, how could the problem still get worse, if it does? The person I am referring to is a 71 year old man who has no other major problems and doesn't have a weak heart muscle, just the problem with the electrical impulses. .
Also I was wondering if others who have had a pacemaker implanted, have had pain in their left shoulder or under the left shoulder blade and have you found the cause of it? Thank you for all comments.

The rhythm problem should be all better with the pacemaker.

The left shoulder problem is probably muscle related due to the arm being somewhat immobilized for a few days. Try a deep tissue massage and ask if the therapist found a lot of tight muscles in the area.

If the massage does not help at all, ask the cardiologist to evaluate the pacemaker site. I can;t imagine the pacemaker is causing the shoulder pain because it is so small, but anything is possible.

Is the patient having hiccups constantly ? If so, call the doctor as soon as possible.  (+ info)

What is a creative research title for sick sinus syndrome?

It is for anatomy/physiology. Go ahead- pull out your thinking caps. I love my options

What aspect of sick sinus syndrome are you planning to study?  (+ info)

is sick sinus syndrome something you develop over time or something you are born with? can it be fatal?

Is it a disease or a condition?

While the syndrome can have many causes, it usually is idiopathic. Sick sinus syndrome (SSS) is not a specific disease, but comprises a variety of conditions involving sinus node dysfunction and commonly affects elderly persons. Some patients with sick sinus syndrome also have rapid heartbeats (tachycardia). Or the heartbeat alternates between too fast and too slow. This is called bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome. Often there is a long pause (asystole) between heartbeats, especially after an episode of tachycardia. SSS becomes more common as we age. The underlying cause of arrhythmia provides the basis for selecting the best treatment This falls into several main categories from the least to the most invasive. Generally, the least invasive treatment that effectively controls the arrhythmia is the treatment of choice. The options include lifestyle changes, medication, devices, ablation procedures, and surgery - which includes the implantation of defibrillators and pacemakers. I will briefly condense what I have mentioned - Sick sinus syndrome has multiple manifestations on electrocardiogram, including sinus bradycardia, sinus arrest, sinoatrial block, and alternating patterns of bradycardia and tachycardia (bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome). Diagnosis of sick sinus syndrome can be difficult because of its nonspecific symptoms and elusive findings on electrocardiogram or Holter monitor. The mainstay of treatment is atrial or dual-chamber pacemaker placement, which generally provides effective relief of symptoms and lowers the incidence of atrial fibrillation, thromboembolic events, heart failure, and mortality, compared with ventricular pacemakers. If this question is with regard to yourself or a friend, medical advice should be followed, or if this is not, then it should be initiated. If it is only as a matter for your interest – I hope this answers some of your questions.


It is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure. Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms.

The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

I add a link with details of this subject


Hope this helps
matador  (+ info)

What specific drugs are used to treat Sick Sinus Syndrome and how do these drugs work?

Specific drug names. A detailed description on how these drugs work.

Talk to a doctor.  (+ info)

What is sick sinus syndrome and is it life threatening?

Sick sinus syndrome is a dysfunction of "sino atrial node"which normally and autonomously controls heart rate.A sick sinus slows down heart rate.It occurs as an ageing process,hypothyroidism,ischemic heart disease,over dose of drugs like Digoxin,Atenalol etc. ECG shows P wave changes. Low heart rates,changing heart rates,from slow to rapid occur.Not always fatal,the treatment depends upon the cause.  (+ info)

Is there any other way of treating sick sinus syndrome except implantation of pacemaker?

You should discuss this with your doctor.

Sick sinus syndrome, also called Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is a group of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) presumably caused by a malfunction of the sinus node, the heart's "natural" pacemaker. Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is a variant of sick sinus syndrome where atrial flutter and fibrillation alternate with prolonged periods of asystole.  (+ info)

Can a stress test rule out Sick Sinus Syndrome?

I don't think so, but an ECG can.  (+ info)

Is sick sinus syndrome fatal?

I found out that i have this but all of a sudden tonight my body tries to make me always turn to the right so much so i feel sick and dizzy. I force myself to go the other way and i feel like i'm going to pass out. Is this serious enough to go to the hospital for?

Sick sinus syndrome is not fatal. The word "syndrome" just means that there is a constellation of signs and symptons. Sick sinus syndrome occurs most commonly in elderly patients. The pathologic changes are usually nonspecific, characterized by patchy fibrosis of the sinus node and cardiac conduction system. Sick sinus syndrome may be caused by other conditions, including sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, Chagas' disease, and various cardiomyopathies. Coronary disease is an uncommon cause.

Most patients with ECG evidence of sick sinus syndrome are asymptomatic, but rare individuals may experience syncope, dizziness, confusion, palpitations, heart failure, or angina. Because these symptoms are either nonspecific or are due to other causes, it is essential that they be demonstrated to coincide temporally with arrhythmias. This may require prolonged ambulatory monitoring or the use of an event recorder.

Treatment - Most symptomatic patients will require permanent pacing (see AV Block, below). Dual-chamber pacing is preferred because ventricular pacing is associated with a higher incidence of subsequent atrial fibrillation, and subsequent AV block occurs at a rate of 2% per year. In addition, resultant "pacemaker syndrome" can result from loss of AV synchrony. Treatment of associated tachyarrhythmias is often difficult without first instituting pacing, since digoxin and other antiarrhythmic agents may exacerbate the bradycardia. Unfortunately, symptomatic relief following pacing has not been consistent, largely because of inadequate documentation of the etiologic role of bradyarrhythmias in producing the symptom. Furthermore, many of these patients may have associated ventricular arrhythmias that may require treatment; however, carefully selected patients may become asymptomatic with permanent pacing alone.

Having said this I assume you were diagnosed and your doctor found it unnecessary that you be put on meds or a machine since you're asking this question. Best way to find out if its serious enough is to go back to your doctor and talk to him, since he has all your medical records and we don't. All we can do online is pock in the darkness and make an educated guess by what little information youve provided. Best of luck to you.  (+ info)

Coreg for patient with Sick Sinus Syndrome, Bradycardia... Fatal dose?

If an elderly patient with severe Sick Sinus Syndrome and bradycardia were given 6.25 mg Coreg before pacemaker surgery, would or could it be fatal?

I wrote a very nice complete answer that got caught up in Yahoo!'s snafu earlier today...and is now lost.

1) Coreg is Rx'd for either heart failure or angina - and therefore you need to consider it very carefully before withdrawing the medication.
2) Some b-blockers block the S-A node more than others. In fact sometimes b-blockers are used as an alternative to a pacemaker with SSS.
3) Coreg has both b-blocker and alpha blocker effects. Six and a quarter mg is a modest dose of Coreg which can be dosed over 50mg. There also is a common dose of 3.125mg that is available.
4) The medication should probably not be stopped unless the patient is having symptomatic bradycardia, that is near syncope or syncope. Slow HR is not enough to warrant stopping the medication if the patient is alert.

The short answer is that no, Coreg may not be dangerous under the circumstances you describe. Nonetheless, people can respond in unexpected ways to medications and should be monitored carefully - with doses adjusted or the medication discontinued if warranted.

I would encourage you to discuss this with the prescribing physician.

Good luck.  (+ info)

Sick Sinus Syndrome?

I was in the hospital for seven days for my original complaint of my heart beating 50BPM and down(dropped to 32 while sleeping) Went to the telemetry floor and was monitored the whole time.. My heart rate went to 54 once while waking, and then it had episodes of tacycardia. The first few days, it stayed 60-70's..the next it was 70s and up. The doctor did a EKG, and Holter, and Echo which were all fine. But he mentioned Sick Sinus Syndrome and today the holter results showed negative. Even though he claims no, should I worry? He said if I had it I would need a pacemaker. I am 25 and should not be having these problems. But anywho, if anyone has SSS, was it easily diagnosed?

Sick Sinus Syndrome is a dysfunction of the natural SinoAtrial pacemaker in the upper right atrium of the heart. Normally, the SA pacemaker discharges electrical impulses roughly every one second. With SSS, however, the SA node may deliver a much lower rate for a while, followed by a much higher rate of discharging, causing the patient with the disease to have very slow pulse rates, then suddenly very fast rates. This disease is also called Tachy-Brady syndrome. A Holter monitor would reveal things that would point to SSS, such as periods of asystole (the heart stops beating for a period of time), sinus arrest (where the SA node fails to fire and the AV node takes over), and a number of other things. If the Holter revealed none of these, but a slightly exaggerated response to certain activities, then SSS is no longer thought of as a diagnosis.  (+ info)

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