Items in AFP with MESH term: Pacemaker, Artificial
ABSTRACT: Sick sinus syndrome comprises a variety of conditions involving sinus node dysfunction and commonly affects elderly persons. While the syndrome can have many causes, it usually is idiopathic. Patients may experience syncope, pre-syncope, palpitations, or dizziness; however, they often are asymptomatic or have subtle or nonspecific symptoms. 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.
ABSTRACT: Each year, pacemaker therapy is prescribed to approximately 900,000 persons worldwide. Current pacemaker devices treat bradyarrhythmias and tachyarrhythmias and, in some cases, are combined with implantable defibrillators. In older patients, devices that maintain synchrony between atria and ventricles are preferred because they maintain the increased contribution of atrial contraction to ventricular filling necessary in this age group. In general, rate-responsive devices are preferred because they more closely simulate the physiologic function of the sinus node. Permanent pacemakers are implanted in adults primarily for the treatment of sinus node dysfunction, acquired atrioventricular block, and certain fascicular blocks. They also are effective in the prevention and treatment of certain tachyarrhythmias and forms of neurocardiogenic syncope. Biventricular pacing (resynchronization therapy) recently has been shown to be an effective treatment for advanced heart failure in patients with major intraventricular conduction effects, predominately left bundle branch block. Many studies have documented that pacemaker therapy can reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and, in certain patient populations, improve survival.
Ethical Considerations of Patients with Pacemakers - Curbside Consultation
Sick Sinus Syndrome: A Review - Article
ABSTRACT: Sick sinus syndrome refers to a collection of disorders marked by the heart’s inability to perform its pacemaking function. Predominantly affecting older adults, sick sinus syndrome comprises various arrhythmias, including bradyarrhythmias with or without accompanying tachyarrhythmias. At least 50 percent of patients with sick sinus syndrome develop alternating bradycardia and tachycardia, also known as tachy-brady syndrome. Sick sinus syndrome results from intrinsic causes, or may be exacerbated or mimicked by extrinsic factors. Intrinsic causes include degenerative fibrosis, ion channel dysfunction, and remodeling of the sinoatrial node. Extrinsic factors can be pharmacologic, metabolic, or autonomic. Signs and symptoms are often subtle early on and become more obvious as the disease progresses. They are commonly related to end-organ hypoperfusion. Cerebral hypoperfusion is most common, with syncope or near-fainting occurring in about one-half of patients. Diagnosis may be challenging, and is ultimately made by electrocardiographic identification of the arrhythmia in conjunction with the presence of symptoms. If electrocardiography does not yield a diagnosis, inpatient telemetry monitoring, outpatient Holter monitoring, event monitoring, or loop monitoring may be used. Electrophysiologic studies also may be used but are not routinely needed. Treatment of sick sinus syndrome includes removing extrinsic factors, when possible, and pacemaker placement. Pacemakers do not reduce mortality, but they can decrease symptoms and improve quality of life.