Clinical Spectrum of the Sick Sinus Syndrome
The clinical spectrum of the sick sinus syndrome (SSS) is described in a series of 56 patients who demonstrated either persistent unexplained sinus bradycardia (group I: eight patients); sinus arrest (group II: 15 patients); or bradycardia with episodic supraventricular tachyarrhythmias (group III: 33 patients). Coronary disease was the most common form of heart disease where etiology could be determined, but in 25 patients no clear etiologic diagnoses could be established. Thirty-three patients showed associated electrocardiographic conduction disturbances. Symptoms were common and were produced by both bradycardia and tachycardia. Eight patients in the bradycardia-tachycardia group experienced cerebral embolization. Despite bother-some symptoms, only six of the 56 patients died over an average follow-up of 7 years, and only one of these deaths appeared related to an arrhythmia. Drug therapy of bradycardia was generally ineffective, but digitalis was frequently helpful in patients with tachycardia. Electrical pacing was uniformly successful in treating symptoms of bradycardia but was disappointing in preventing tachyarrhythmias.
- Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome
- Sinus arrest
- Sinoatrial block
- Conduction disturbances
- Systemic embolism
- Sinus bradycardia
- Received December 8, 1971.
- Accepted March 8, 1972.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.