First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Sick Sinus Syndrome
Sick sinus syndrome is the name given to a group of arrhythmias that occur because the normal pacemaker of the heart (the sinus node) does not work properly. Sick sinus syndrome is also called sinus node dysfunction.
For more information on other types of sinus node problems, see Types of Bradycardia.
Sick sinus syndrome can occur for various reasons. It most commonly results from the effect of age on the sinus node. As we get older, scarring of the sinus node can occur and, in some people, it can be so severe that it causes this syndrome.
Various irregular heart rates (arrhythmias) or combinations of arrhythmias can occur in this condition. People with this syndrome can have slow arrhythmias or a combination of fast and slow arrhythmias. These include:
Treatment of sick sinus syndrome depends on what is causing it. Treatment also depends on the symptoms. If the syndrome doesn't cause symptoms, it may not be treated. Treatment may be a pacemaker. You and your doctor can decide what treatment is right for you.
In tachy-brady syndrome, also called tachycardia-bradycardia syndrome, the heart sometimes beats too quickly (tachy) and sometimes beats too slowly (brady). This abnormal heart rhythm problem is often seen in people who have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. It can occur when the heart's natural pacemaker is damaged.
Other Works Consulted
Olgin JE, Zipes DP (2015). Specific arrhythmias: Diagnosis and treatment. In DL Mann et al., eds., Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 10th ed., vol. 1, pp. 748–797. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Vijayaraman P, Ellenbogen KA (2011). Bradyarrhythmias and pacemakers. In V Fuster et al., eds., Hurst's The Heart, 13th ed., pp. 1025–1057. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.
Current as ofApril 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineRakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Current as of:
April 9, 2019
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
10208 Cerny St.
Raleigh, NC 27617
1505 SW Cary Parkway
REX Healthcare of Cary, Suite 300
Cary, NC 27511
2076 NC Highway 42 W.
Johnston Professional Plaza, Suite 100
Clayton, NC 27520
603 Beaman St.
Clinton, NC 28328
400 Health Park Drive
REX Healthcare of Garner, Suite 120
Garner, NC 27529
UNC REX Healthcare4420 Lake Boone TrailRaleigh, NC 27607, USA919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
UNC Health Talk
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.