Sick sinus syndrome after surgery for congenital heart disease.
The course and prognosis of 16 infants and children with sick sinus syndrome associated with cardiac surgery is reviewed. The dysrhythmia was observed most ofter after extensive atrial reconstructive surgery in patients with transposition of the great arteries and with atrial septal defect. In 12 (75%) of the patients, sick sinus syndrome was detected in the immediate postoperative period. Tachyarrhythmias and bradyarrhythmias were presnet in 12 and isolated bradyarrhythmias in four. Temporary pacing was used in two and permanent pacing was required in five. Death in two non-paced patients was attributable to arrhythmias. Postmortem examination in one patient revealed a suture in the sinoatrial node. Careful attention to the anatomy of the sinoatrial node, its artery and the internodal tracts during surgery may prevent the development of sick sinus syndrome. In patients with dysrhythmia, a careful search should be undertaken to document the abnormal rhythm with the use of Holter monitoring. The insertion of a pacemaker is indicated in patients with tachyarrhythmias requiring cardioversion or antiarrhythmic drug therapy and those without adequate lower escape mechanisms.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association