Sinus Node Dysfunction

Also known as: sinus node disease, sick sinus syndrome

What is sinus node dysfunction?

The sinus node is a group of cells within the heart that establishes its rhythm. When something goes wrong with the sinus node, it can cause an arrhythmia, or heart rhythm problem. This is known as sinus node dysfunction.   


What causes sinus node dysfunction?

Sinus node dysfunction is often the result of common deterioration to the heart or sinus node as a person ages. It can also be the byproduct of an underlying disease or injury to the heart. 


What are the symptoms of sinus node dysfunction?

Sinus node dysfunction can present with a slow heart rate, a rapid heart rate or an irregular heart rate that is not consistent. It can produce symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain or heart palpitations that you can feel.


What are sinus node dysfunction care options?

Some medications or changes to medications can help with sinus node dysfunction. Others may need a pacemaker implanted to help regular heart rate. Certain medical procedures can also improve the condition.


Reviewed by: Anthony F. Rossi, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:06:18 PM

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Danyal Khan, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a pediatric cardiologist with the The Heart Program.


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