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Bradyarrhythmias

Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics and hemodynamic instability causing syncope Syncope Syncope is a short-term loss of consciousness and loss of postural stability followed by spontaneous return of consciousness to the previous neurologic baseline without the need for resuscitation. The condition is caused by transient interruption of cerebral blood flow that may be benign or related to a underlying life-threatening condition. Syncope, dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome), or dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmia is due to dysfunction in the sinoatrial (SA) node, atrioventricular (AV) node, or the lower conduction system. Bradyarrhythmia can be associated with an intrinsic cardiac abnormality or with medications, electrolyte imbalances, and systemic diseases. Arrhythmia is detected by electrocardiogram Electrocardiogram An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) ( ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)). Additional tests such as event recorders are performed if symptoms are less frequent and require a longer observation period. There are bradyarrhythmias requiring no intervention. In symptomatic or life-threatening conduction abnormalities such as complete heart block, permanent pacemaker placement is the mainstay of treatment.

Last updated: Jun 10, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Bradyarrhythmia:

  • Heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology < 60/min
  • Caused by dysfunction in conduction at the level of the sinus node, atrioventricular (AV) node, or His/Purkinje system

Anatomy

  • Conduction system:
    • Sinoatrial (SA) node:
      • Cluster of cells near the junction of the right atrium and the superior vena cava Superior vena cava The venous trunk which returns blood from the head, neck, upper extremities and chest. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy
      • “Natural pacemaker”: initiates electrical impulses to stimulate contraction
    • AV node:
      • Sits near the coronary sinus Coronary Sinus A short vein that collects about two thirds of the venous blood from the myocardium and drains into the right atrium. Coronary sinus, normally located between the left atrium and left ventricle on the posterior surface of the heart, can serve as an anatomical reference for cardiac procedures. Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) on the interatrial septum Interatrial Septum Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
      • Receives the impulses from the SA node
      • Slows electrical impulse from the SA node (AV nodal delay) to allow atrial ejection of blood before ventricular contraction
    • Bundle of His Bundle of His Small band of specialized cardiac muscle fibers that originates in the atrioventricular node and extends into the membranous part of the interventricular septum. The bundle of his, consisting of the left and the right bundle branches, conducts the electrical impulses to the heart ventricles in generation of myocardial contraction. Heart: Anatomy: connects impulses from the AV node to the ventricles
    • Bundle branches: 
      • Conducts impulses through the interventricular system
      • Goes to right and left
    • Purkinje fibers Purkinje fibers Modified cardiac muscle fibers composing the terminal portion of the heart conduction system. Heart: Anatomy: depolarize the ventricles
  • Innervation: 
    • Parasympathetic: reduces sinus node automaticity (↓ heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology)
    • Sympathetic: increases sinus node automaticity (↑ heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology)
The conduction system of the heart

Conduction system of the heart

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Physiology

Sequential Sequential Computed Tomography (CT) events of a cardiac cycle Cardiac cycle The cardiac cycle describes a complete contraction and relaxation of all 4 chambers of the heart during a standard heartbeat. The cardiac cycle includes 7 phases, which together describe the cycle of ventricular filling, isovolumetric contraction, ventricular ejection, and isovolumetric relaxation. Cardiac Cycle:

  1. SA node initiates impulse. P wave P wave Electrocardiogram (ECG): 
  2. PR segment:
    • Impulse reaches AV node.
    • Impulse passes to the His bundle. 
  3. QRS complex QRS complex Electrocardiogram (ECG): 
  4. ST segment ST segment Isoelectric segment between the s wave and the initial deflection of the t wave. Electrocardiogram (ECG): completion of ventricular depolarization Depolarization Membrane Potential
  5. T wave T wave Electrocardiogram (ECG): repolarization Repolarization Membrane Potential of ventricles
  6. Completion of repolarization Repolarization Membrane Potential
Ecg and electrical activity of the myocardium

Electrocardiogram Electrocardiogram An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) and electrical activity of the myocardium Myocardium The muscle tissue of the heart. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow. Heart: Anatomy

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Epidemiology and Etiology

Epidemiology

  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency increases with age, commonly at > 70 years of age.
  • Sinus node dysfunction and high-grade atrioventricular block Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) are the most common indications for permanent pacemaker placement.

Etiology

Intrinsic causes:

  • Aging: number-1 primary cause (degeneration of the conduction system and pacemaker cells)
  • Heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)
  • Ischemic heart disease Ischemic heart disease Coronary heart disease (CHD), or ischemic heart disease, describes a situation in which an inadequate supply of blood to the myocardium exists due to a stenosis of the coronary arteries, typically from atherosclerosis. Coronary Heart Disease (e.g., myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction)
  • Congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis heart disease
  • Infiltrative cardiac disorders (e.g., sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disease that causes noncaseating granulomas. The exact etiology is unknown. Sarcoidosis usually affects the lungs and thoracic lymph nodes, but it can also affect almost every system in the body, including the skin, heart, and eyes, most commonly. Sarcoidosis, amyloidosis Amyloidosis Amyloidosis is a disease caused by abnormal extracellular tissue deposition of fibrils composed of various misfolded low-molecular-weight protein subunits. These proteins are frequently byproducts of other pathological processes (e.g., multiple myeloma). Amyloidosis, hemochromatosis Hemochromatosis A disorder of iron metabolism characterized by a triad of hemosiderosis; liver cirrhosis; and diabetes mellitus. It is caused by massive iron deposits in parenchymal cells that may develop after a prolonged increase of iron absorption. Hereditary Hemochromatosis)
  • Post-radiation fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
  • Ischemic fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
  • Ion channel dysfunction
  • Autonomic dysfunction Autonomic Dysfunction Anterior Cord Syndrome
  • Inflammatory cardiac disorders ( Chagas disease Chagas disease Infection with the protozoan parasite trypanosoma cruzi, a form of trypanosomiasis endemic in central and south america. It is named after the brazilian physician carlos chagas, who discovered the parasite. Infection by the parasite (positive serologic result only) is distinguished from the clinical manifestations that develop years later, such as destruction of parasympathetic ganglia; chagas cardiomyopathy; and dysfunction of the esophagus or colon. Trypanosoma cruzi/Chagas disease, Lyme disease Lyme disease Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the gram-negative spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted by the black-legged Ixodes tick (known as a deer tick), which is only found in specific geographic regions. Patient presentation can vary depending on the stage of the disease and may include a characteristic erythema migrans rash. Lyme Disease, myocarditis Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the myocardium, which may occur alone or in association with a systemic process. There are numerous etiologies of myocarditis, but all lead to inflammation and myocyte injury, most often leading to signs and symptoms of heart failure. Myocarditis)

Extrinsic causes:

  • Medications: 
    • Most common extrinsic cause
    • Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers Calcium Channel Blockers Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are a class of medications that inhibit voltage-dependent L-type calcium channels of cardiac and vascular smooth muscle cells. The inhibition of these channels produces vasodilation and myocardial depression. There are 2 major classes of CCBs: dihydropyridines and non-dihydropyridines. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers) ( CCBs CCBs Calcium channel blockers (CCBS) are a class of medications that inhibit voltage-dependent L-type calcium channels of cardiac and vascular smooth muscle cells. The inhibition of these channels produces vasodilation and myocardial depression. There are 2 major classes of CCBS: dihydropyridines and non-dihydropyridines. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers)), digoxin Digoxin A cardiotonic glycoside obtained mainly from digitalis lanata; it consists of three sugars and the aglycone digoxigenin. Digoxin has positive inotropic and negative chronotropic activity. It is used to control ventricular rate in atrial fibrillation and in the management of congestive heart failure with atrial fibrillation. Its use in congestive heart failure and sinus rhythm is less certain. The margin between toxic and therapeutic doses is small. Cardiac Glycosides, anti-arrhythmics, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AchEIs), lithium Lithium An element in the alkali metals family. It has the atomic symbol li, atomic number 3, and atomic weight [6. 938; 6. 997]. Salts of lithium are used in treating bipolar disorder. Ebstein’s Anomaly, sympatholytics, ivabradine Ivabradine A benzazepine derivative and selective hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels inhibitor that lowers the heart rate. It is used in the treatment of chronic stable angina in patients unable to take beta-adrenergic blockers, and in the treatment of heart failure. Heart Failure and Angina Medication
  • Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by a deficiency of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause worldwide, but Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune thyroiditis) is the leading cause in non-iodine-deficient regions. Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium (K+) concentration >5.2 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain the serum K+ concentration between 3.5 and 5.2 mEq/L, despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hyperkalemia can be due to a variety of causes, which include transcellular shifts, tissue breakdown, inadequate renal excretion, and drugs. Hyperkalemia, hypokalemia Hypokalemia Hypokalemia is defined as plasma potassium (K+) concentration < 3.5 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain plasma concentration between 3.5-5.2 mEq/L despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hypokalemia can be due to renal losses, GI losses, transcellular shifts, or poor dietary intake. Hypokalemia
  • Hypothermia Hypothermia Hypothermia can be defined as a drop in the core body temperature below 35°C (95°F) and is classified into mild, moderate, severe, and profound forms based on the degree of temperature decrease. Hypothermia
  • Neonatal lupus Neonatal Lupus Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis heart block due to transplacental transfer of antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions (anti-Ro, anti-La)
  • Surgery (transcatheter aortic valve Aortic valve The valve between the left ventricle and the ascending aorta which prevents backflow into the left ventricle. Heart: Anatomy implantation Implantation Endometrial implantation of embryo, mammalian at the blastocyst stage. Fertilization and First Week, radiofrequency ablation Radiofrequency ablation Removal of tissue using heat generated from electrodes delivering an alternating electrical current in the frequency of radio waves. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Liver Metastases, transcoronary ablation of septal hypertrophy Hypertrophy General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to cell enlargement and accumulation of fluids and secretions, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). Cellular Adaptation)
  • Obstructive sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep apnea
  • Central nervous system Central nervous system The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification (CNS) conditions (intracranial hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension)
  • Increased vagal activity (e.g., carotid sinus Carotid sinus The dilated portion of the common carotid artery at its bifurcation into external and internal carotids. It contains baroreceptors which, when stimulated, cause slowing of the heart, vasodilatation, and a fall in blood pressure. Carotid Arterial System: Anatomy stimulation, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, coughing, Valsalva maneuver Valsalva maneuver Forced expiratory effort against a closed glottis. Rectal Prolapse)

Bradyarrhythmia Due to Sinus Node Dysfunction

Sinus (sinoatrial) node dysfunction (SND)

  • Also called sick sinus syndrome Sick Sinus Syndrome Sick sinus syndrome (SSS), also known as sinus node dysfunction, is characterized by degeneration of the sinoatrial (SA) node, the heart’s primary pacemaker. Patients with SSS may be asymptomatic or may present with tachycardia or bradycardia. Sick Sinus Syndrome
  • Non-physiologic sinus rate of < 50/min and/or sinus pauses > 3 sec
  • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) changes and clinical symptoms are both present.
  • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) findings alone do not indicate SND (e.g., highly conditioned athletes).

Pathophysiology

  • Defect in cardiac impulse formation (automaticity) and/or conduction from the SA node
  • Often secondary to senescence of SA node (sinus node fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans)
  • SA node is unable to generate a heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology sufficient for the physiologic needs of the individual.

Types

  • Sinus bradycardia: 
  • Sinus arrest or pause:
    • Disorder of automaticity
    • Sinus node fails to generate an impulse.
    • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
    • Sinus pause < 3 sec: can be seen in normal individuals
    • AV node and lower conduction system become the pacemaker and an escape Escape With constant immune mechanisms holding unstable tumor cells in equilibrium, tumor-cell variants may emerge. These cancer cells may express fewer antigens on their surfaces or lose their MHC class I expression.Variants may also protect themselves from T-cell attack via expression of IC molecules on their surfaces, like normal cells.Creation of an immunosuppressive state in the microenvironment is another way to grow without immunologic interference. Cancer Immunotherapy rhythm is produced.
    • No escape Escape With constant immune mechanisms holding unstable tumor cells in equilibrium, tumor-cell variants may emerge. These cancer cells may express fewer antigens on their surfaces or lose their MHC class I expression.Variants may also protect themselves from T-cell attack via expression of IC molecules on their surfaces, like normal cells.Creation of an immunosuppressive state in the microenvironment is another way to grow without immunologic interference. Cancer Immunotherapy rhythm or long pauses (> 3 sec) → symptoms ( syncope Syncope Syncope is a short-term loss of consciousness and loss of postural stability followed by spontaneous return of consciousness to the previous neurologic baseline without the need for resuscitation. The condition is caused by transient interruption of cerebral blood flow that may be benign or related to a underlying life-threatening condition. Syncope, dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome))
  • Sinoatrial exit block (SA block): 
    • Disorder of conduction
    • SA node depolarizes, but there is a failure in the signal transmission to the rest of the atria. 
    • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
      • Absence of P wave P wave Electrocardiogram (ECG) on the ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
      • Distinguishing feature from sinus arrest: Length of the SA block is a multiple of the P-P interval before the pause.
  • Tachycardia-bradycardia syndrome: episodes of alternating tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children and bradycardia

Bradyarrhythmia Due to Atrioventricular Block

Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block)

  • Conduction defect (from atrium to ventricle)
  • Can be transient or permanent
  • Physiologic AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block): from enhanced vagal tone (e.g., athletes, sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep, carotid sinus Carotid sinus The dilated portion of the common carotid artery at its bifurcation into external and internal carotids. It contains baroreceptors which, when stimulated, cause slowing of the heart, vasodilatation, and a fall in blood pressure. Carotid Arterial System: Anatomy massage, carotid sinus Carotid sinus The dilated portion of the common carotid artery at its bifurcation into external and internal carotids. It contains baroreceptors which, when stimulated, cause slowing of the heart, vasodilatation, and a fall in blood pressure. Carotid Arterial System: Anatomy hypersensitivity syndrome)

Pathophysiology

  • Delay or interruption in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles 
  • Due to either anatomical or functional impairment

Types

  • 1st-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block):
    • Delayed conduction from atrium to ventricle, without interruption
    • Regular Regular Insulin QRS complexes
    • Can be physiologic
    • Often asymptomatic and diagnosed by ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
    • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG): PR interval PR interval Electrocardiogram (ECG) > 0.2 sec or > 200 msec (normal: 0.120.20 sec)
  • 2nd-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block):
    • Incomplete AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block): There is intermittent atria-to-ventricle conduction.
    • Mobitz type 1 Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy ( Wenckebach Wenckebach Atrioventricular block (AV block)):
      • Atrial impulses do not reach the ventricles.
      • Impairment usually within the AV node
      • Can be physiologic in young and highly conditioned athletes
      • Often asymptomatic
      • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG):
      • Mnemonic: “Longer, longer, longer, drop! This must be a Wenckebach Wenckebach Atrioventricular block (AV block)!”
    • Mobitz type 2 Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy:
      • Impairment distal to the AV node (His bundle and bundle branches)
      • Higher risk to progress to 3rd-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block)
      • Can be associated with hemodynamic instability
      • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG):
  • 2nd-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block), high grade:
    • 2 or more consecutively blocked P waves
    • Compared with 3rd-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block), there is some relationship Relationship A connection, association, or involvement between 2 or more parties. Clinician–Patient Relationship between P and QRS waves, indicating some degree of AV conduction.
  • 3rd-degree (complete) AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block):
    • Complete disconnection of electrical pathways between the atria and the ventricular system Ventricular System The ventricular system is an extension of the subarachnoid space into the brain consisting of a series of interconnecting spaces and channels. Four chambers are filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF): the paired lateral ventricles, the unpaired 3rd ventricle, and the unpaired 4th ventricle. Ventricular System: Anatomy
    • Associated with hemodynamic instability
    • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
      • No relationship Relationship A connection, association, or involvement between 2 or more parties. Clinician–Patient Relationship between the P waves and QRS complexes
      • Variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables PR interval PR interval Electrocardiogram (ECG)
      • QRS, P-P, and R-R intervals are constant.

Clinical Presentation

Symptoms are related to bradyarrhythmia, causing low cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics:

  • Chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia
  • Syncope Syncope Syncope is a short-term loss of consciousness and loss of postural stability followed by spontaneous return of consciousness to the previous neurologic baseline without the need for resuscitation. The condition is caused by transient interruption of cerebral blood flow that may be benign or related to a underlying life-threatening condition. Syncope, presyncope Presyncope Syncope
  • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension 
  • Shortness of breath Shortness of breath Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea
  • Dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome), light-headedness
  • Confusion, cognitive slowing (from cerebral hypoperfusion)
  • Chronotropic incompetence from sinoatrial node Sinoatrial node The small mass of modified cardiac muscle fibers located at the junction of the superior vena cava and right atrium. Contraction impulses probably start in this node, spread over the atrium (heart atrium) and are then transmitted by the atrioventricular bundle (bundle of His) to the ventricle (heart ventricle). Heart: Anatomy dysfunction: inability to increase heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology response to increased demand or activity

Diagnosis

Diagnostic cardiac tests

  • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG): best diagnostic test for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with bradyarrhythmia
  • Holter monitor:
    • Continuous recording up to 2 weeks with symptom-rhythm correlation Correlation Determination of whether or not two variables are correlated. This means to study whether an increase or decrease in one variable corresponds to an increase or decrease in the other variable. Causality, Validity, and Reliability done with patient diary
    • Detects frequently occurring events and symptoms 
  • Loop recorder: 
    • Type of event recorder with continuous recording and storage of rhythm data over weeks
    • Provides recording before, during, and after the event
    • Can be an external or implantable recorder
  • Post-event recorder:
    • Monitoring starts when a patient’s symptoms commence.
    • Dependent on patient activating the device 
  • Mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry Telemetry Transmission of the readings of instruments to a remote location by means of wires, radio waves, or other means. Crush Syndrome
    • Mobile or real-time monitors that provide recording up to 30 days
    • Continuous analysis of ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) with real-time transmission of cardiac event to the attending cardiac unit
  • Electrophysiologic study (EPS): In AV blocks, EPS helps in determining the level of block and rhythm at risk for complete heart block.
  • Exercise stress test:
    • Can exclude myocardial ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage
    • Detects chronotropic incompetence
  • Pharmacologic challenge with atropine Atropine An alkaloid, originally from atropa belladonna, but found in other plants, mainly solanaceae. Hyoscyamine is the 3(s)-endo isomer of atropine. Anticholinergic Drugs or isoproterenol Isoproterenol Isopropyl analog of epinephrine; beta-sympathomimetic that acts on the heart, bronchi, skeletal muscle, alimentary tract, etc. It is used mainly as bronchodilator and heart stimulant. Sympathomimetic Drugs:
    • Use of medication to increase sinus rate
    • Rate increase of < 25% or rate < 90/min considered abnormal
    • Rarely used 

Additional cardiac tests

  • Echocardiography Echocardiography Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic. Tricuspid Valve Atresia (TVA):
    • Evaluates left ventricular function 
    • Helps detect infiltrative disorders
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance Cardiac magnetic resonance Aortic Regurgitation: for diagnostic evaluation of cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy refers to a group of myocardial diseases associated with structural changes of the heart muscles (myocardium) and impaired systolic and/or diastolic function in the absence of other heart disorders (coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular disease, and congenital heart disease). Cardiomyopathy: Overview and Types that can produce arrhythmias

Laboratory tests

  • Metabolic panel
  • Thyroid function tests Thyroid Function Tests Blood tests used to evaluate the functioning of the thyroid gland. Ion Channel Myopathy
  • Serologic testing for Lyme disease Lyme disease Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the gram-negative spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted by the black-legged Ixodes tick (known as a deer tick), which is only found in specific geographic regions. Patient presentation can vary depending on the stage of the disease and may include a characteristic erythema migrans rash. Lyme Disease if suspected (AV conduction block: most common objective finding of Lyme carditis Carditis Rheumatic Fever)

Polysomnography Polysomnography Simultaneous and continuous monitoring of several parameters during sleep to study normal and abnormal sleep. The study includes monitoring of brain waves, to assess sleep stages, and other physiological variables such as breathing, eye movements, and blood oxygen levels which exhibit a disrupted pattern with sleep disturbances. Physiology of Sleep

  • Sleep-disordered breathing: a common cause of nocturnal bradyarrhythmia
  • Sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep apnea: associated with bradycardia and AV blocks

Management

General management

Assess hemodynamic stability of the patient with bradyarrhythmia:

  • Hemodynamically unstable patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship:
    • 1st-line: atropine Atropine An alkaloid, originally from atropa belladonna, but found in other plants, mainly solanaceae. Hyoscyamine is the 3(s)-endo isomer of atropine. Anticholinergic Drugs 0.5 mg IV bolus (repeat dose up to 3 mg)
    • Persistent instability: 
      • Transcutaneous pacing (initial option to stabilize patient; limited by inconsistent myocardial capture)
      • Followed by transvenous pacing
    • If with hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension: dopamine Dopamine One of the catecholamine neurotransmitters in the brain. It is derived from tyrosine and is the precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS, epinephrine Epinephrine The active sympathomimetic hormone from the adrenal medulla. It stimulates both the alpha- and beta- adrenergic systems, causes systemic vasoconstriction and gastrointestinal relaxation, stimulates the heart, and dilates bronchi and cerebral vessels. Sympathomimetic Drugs, or isoproterenol Isoproterenol Isopropyl analog of epinephrine; beta-sympathomimetic that acts on the heart, bronchi, skeletal muscle, alimentary tract, etc. It is used mainly as bronchodilator and heart stimulant. Sympathomimetic Drugs
    • Once stable, proceed with management as with hemodynamically stable patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship.
  • Hemodynamically stable patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship:
    • Search for reversible causes.
    • Treat the cause accordingly.
    • Permanent pacemaker placement: persistent symptoms with no cause found

Specific considerations

  • Stable, asymptomatic conditions do not require treatment:
  • Reversible causes do not require a permanent pacemaker:
    • Correct electrolyte disturbances (e.g., hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium (K+) concentration >5.2 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain the serum K+ concentration between 3.5 and 5.2 mEq/L, despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hyperkalemia can be due to a variety of causes, which include transcellular shifts, tissue breakdown, inadequate renal excretion, and drugs. Hyperkalemia).
    • Treat infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease and underlying disease.
    • Remove causative medications. 
  • Indications for permanent pacemaker placement:
    • Symptomatic sinus node dysfunction (e.g., chronotropic incompetence, frequent sinus pauses with symptoms)
    • Symptomatic sinus bradycardia that results from a required medication for a medical condition
    • Complete heart block
    • High-grade AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block)
    • 2nd-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) Mobitz 2 
    • 2nd-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) Mobitz 1 if symptomatic or block is at intra- or infra-His levels
    • 1st-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) with hemodynamic compromise
    • AV conduction blocks in certain conditions:
      • Neuromuscular disease
      • Infiltrative cardiomyopathies Cardiomyopathies A group of diseases in which the dominant feature is the involvement of the cardiac muscle itself. Cardiomyopathies are classified according to their predominant pathophysiological features (dilated cardiomyopathy; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; restrictive cardiomyopathy) or their etiological/pathological factors (cardiomyopathy, alcoholic; endocardial fibroelastosis). Cardiomyopathy: Overview and Types (e.g., sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disease that causes noncaseating granulomas. The exact etiology is unknown. Sarcoidosis usually affects the lungs and thoracic lymph nodes, but it can also affect almost every system in the body, including the skin, heart, and eyes, most commonly. Sarcoidosis)
      • Lamin A/C gene mutation Gene Mutation Myotonic Dystrophies–related cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy refers to a group of myocardial diseases associated with structural changes of the heart muscles (myocardium) and impaired systolic and/or diastolic function in the absence of other heart disorders (coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular disease, and congenital heart disease). Cardiomyopathy: Overview and Types
      • Symptomatic AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) due to reversible cause but AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) persists

Clinical Relevance

Potential etiologies of conduction deficits:

  • Lyme disease Lyme disease Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the gram-negative spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted by the black-legged Ixodes tick (known as a deer tick), which is only found in specific geographic regions. Patient presentation can vary depending on the stage of the disease and may include a characteristic erythema migrans rash. Lyme Disease: a disease that is caused by an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi Borrelia burgdorferi A specific species of bacteria, part of the borrelia burgdorferi group, whose common name is lyme disease spirochete. Borrelia. Lyme carditis Carditis Rheumatic Fever commonly presents with atrioventricular block Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) within 12 months of infection. Diagnosis is by ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) and positive Lyme serologic testing. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with symptomatic AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) are treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics ( ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins). Asymptomatic patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with 1st-degree AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) are treated with oral antibiotics (doxycycline, amoxicillin Amoxicillin A broad-spectrum semisynthetic antibiotic similar to ampicillin except that its resistance to gastric acid permits higher serum levels with oral administration. Penicillins, cefuroxime). Resolution of AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) is expected with treatment.
  • Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disease that causes noncaseating granulomas. The exact etiology is unknown. Sarcoidosis usually affects the lungs and thoracic lymph nodes, but it can also affect almost every system in the body, including the skin, heart, and eyes, most commonly. Sarcoidosis: a multisystem disease Multisystem disease Mitochondrial Myopathies characterized by non-caseating granulomas Granulomas A relatively small nodular inflammatory lesion containing grouped mononuclear phagocytes, caused by infectious and noninfectious agents. Sarcoidosis in the affected organs. In cardiac sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disease that causes noncaseating granulomas. The exact etiology is unknown. Sarcoidosis usually affects the lungs and thoracic lymph nodes, but it can also affect almost every system in the body, including the skin, heart, and eyes, most commonly. Sarcoidosis, the ventricular myocardium Myocardium The muscle tissue of the heart. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow. Heart: Anatomy is most commonly affected. Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block) is the most frequent presentation. Work-up includes ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG), cardiac magnetic resonance Cardiac magnetic resonance Aortic Regurgitation imaging, and endomyocardial biopsy Endomyocardial biopsy Myocarditis if necessary. Immunosuppressive therapy is part of the management. When complete heart block or high-grade conduction disease is present, a permanent pacemaker is indicated.
  • Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium (K+) concentration >5.2 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain the serum K+ concentration between 3.5 and 5.2 mEq/L, despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hyperkalemia can be due to a variety of causes, which include transcellular shifts, tissue breakdown, inadequate renal excretion, and drugs. Hyperkalemia: serum potassium Potassium An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol k, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39. 10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the water-electrolyte balance. Hyperkalemia level of  > 5.5 mEq/L. Cardiac manifestations usually occur when potassium Potassium An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol k, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39. 10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the water-electrolyte balance. Hyperkalemia concentration reaches ≥ 7 mEq/L. Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium (K+) concentration >5.2 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain the serum K+ concentration between 3.5 and 5.2 mEq/L, despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hyperkalemia can be due to a variety of causes, which include transcellular shifts, tissue breakdown, inadequate renal excretion, and drugs. Hyperkalemia with cardiac abnormalities is a medical emergency. Electrocardiogram Electrocardiogram An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) findings include peaked T waves, advanced AV block AV block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block), sinus bradycardia, and sinus arrest. Rapidly acting therapies including intravenous calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes, insulin Insulin Insulin is a peptide hormone that is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin plays a role in metabolic functions such as glucose uptake, glycolysis, glycogenesis, lipogenesis, and protein synthesis. Exogenous insulin may be needed for individuals with diabetes mellitus, in whom there is a deficiency in endogenous insulin or increased insulin resistance. Insulin, and glucose Glucose A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement. Lactose Intolerance are given along with potassium-removing agents.
  • Myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction: refers to ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage of the myocardial tissue due to obstruction of the coronary arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology. Myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction is usually accompanied by an increase in cardiac enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes, typical ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) changes, and chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways. Conduction abnormalities can occur in myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction. Atrioventricular blocks can be addressed with temporary cardiac pacing while the patient is stabilized. Arrhythmias can resolve with treatment of the ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage but persistence would require pacemaker placement.
  • Obstructive sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep apnea ( OSA OSA Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, causing hypoxia and fragmented sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway and is associated with snoring, restlessness, sleep interruption, and daytime somnolence. Obstructive Sleep Apnea): a disorder characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway Airway ABCDE Assessment during sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep, which causes hypoxia Hypoxia Sub-optimal oxygen levels in the ambient air of living organisms. Ischemic Cell Damage and fragmented sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep. Individuals with obstructive sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep apnea have been found to have sinus bradycardia, sinus pauses, and atrioventricular block Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block). Positive airway Airway ABCDE Assessment pressure (PAP) therapy helps improve arrhythmias in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with OSA OSA Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, causing hypoxia and fragmented sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway and is associated with snoring, restlessness, sleep interruption, and daytime somnolence. Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
  • Beta blockers: a group of medications used in the treatment of hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, ischemic heart disease Ischemic heart disease Coronary heart disease (CHD), or ischemic heart disease, describes a situation in which an inadequate supply of blood to the myocardium exists due to a stenosis of the coronary arteries, typically from atherosclerosis. Coronary Heart Disease, migraine Migraine Migraine headache is a primary headache disorder and is among the most prevalent disorders in the world. Migraine is characterized by episodic, moderate to severe headaches that may be associated with increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine Headache headaches, and heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR). Bradycardia and hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension are the most common presentation of beta-blocker overdose Beta-Blocker Overdose Antiadrenergic Drugs. Under cardiac monitoring, severely symptomatic patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship are given fluid resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome and IV atropine Atropine An alkaloid, originally from atropa belladonna, but found in other plants, mainly solanaceae. Hyoscyamine is the 3(s)-endo isomer of atropine. Anticholinergic Drugs. Additional treatments given to counter the cardiotoxic effects include IV glucagon Glucagon A 29-amino acid pancreatic peptide derived from proglucagon which is also the precursor of intestinal glucagon-like peptides. Glucagon is secreted by pancreatic alpha cells and plays an important role in regulation of blood glucose concentration, ketone metabolism, and several other biochemical and physiological processes. Gastrointestinal Secretions, IV calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes salts, insulin Insulin Insulin is a peptide hormone that is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin plays a role in metabolic functions such as glucose uptake, glycolysis, glycogenesis, lipogenesis, and protein synthesis. Exogenous insulin may be needed for individuals with diabetes mellitus, in whom there is a deficiency in endogenous insulin or increased insulin resistance. Insulin with glucose Glucose A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement. Lactose Intolerance, and vasopressors Vasopressors Sepsis in Children.

References

  1. Becker, D. (2006). Fundamentals of Electrocardiography Interpretation. Anesth Prog.  53(2): 53–64. Retrieved 26 Sept 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1614214/
  2. Dalia, T., Amr, B. (2020). Pacemaker Indications. StatPearls. Retrieved 29 Sept 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507823/
  3. Galli, A., Ambrosini, F., Lombardi, F. (2016) Holter Monitoring and Loop Recorders: from Research to Clinical Practice. Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review, 5(2):136-143. Retrieved 28 Sept 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5013174
  4. Homoud, M., Levy, S., Saperia, G. (2020) Sinus Node Dysfunction: Epidemiology, Etiology and Natural history. UpToDate. Retrieved 26 Sept 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/sinus-node-dysfunction-epidemiology-etiology-and-natural-history
  5. Homoud, M., Olshanky, B., Saperia, G. (2020). Sinoatrial nodal pause, arrest and exit block. UpToDate. Retrieved 26 Sept 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/sinoatrial-nodal-pause-arrest-and-exit-block
  6. Kantharia, B., Shah, A., Chutani, A., El-Chami, M., Batres, Y. (2018) Sinus Node Dysfunction. Medscape. Retrieved 26 Sept 2020, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/158064-overview
  7. Kashou, A., Goyal, A., Nguyen, T., Chhabra, L. (2020) Atrioventricular Block. Retrieved 28 Sept 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459147/
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