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Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome

Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome Causes

Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is commonly caused by a coronary artery disease. Typically, the sinus node malfunctions due to scarring or damage to the electrical system of the heart. However, some medications such as calcium channel blockers or beta blockers have been observed to trigger episodes of rapid switching between slow and fast heartbeats. In addition, the condition is also linked to age-related wear and tear to the heart muscles.

Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome Definition

Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is a form of sick sinus syndrome characterized by slow heartbeats (bradycardia) alternating with fast heartbeats (tachycardia) as a result of some malfunction in the heart's natural pacemaker called the sinus node.

Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome Diagnosis

Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is typically diagnosed based on the results of an electrocardiography (ECG) and standard imaging tests.

Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

In general, sick sinus syndrome does not cause any symptoms. However, if the heartbeat drops to less than 40 per minute, patients may experience fatigue, weakness, and even fainting because the brain does not get sufficient supplies of blood. Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome patients, in particular, tend to feel heart palpitations when the heart beats rapidly. As their heartbeat slows, dizziness may occur. When the heart switches between rapid and slow beating, patients may faint.

Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome Treatment

Treatment for bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is focused on reducing or eliminating the symptoms. In most cases, the preferred treatment is the implantation of an electronic pacemaker to regulate heartbeats. In some cases, some medications may be prescribed, including anti-arrhythmia drugs. Other treatment approaches involve AV node ablation or radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation.

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