Sick Sinus Syndrome (SSS)
Also known as sinus node disease or sinus node dysfunction
Sick sinus syndrome occurs when the sinus node – the heart’s natural pacemaker – sends improper pulses that either slow or quicken the heartbeat. A person with SSS may have a heart rhythm that is too slow (bradycardia), too fast (tachycardia), or one that alternates between the fast and slow (bradycardia-tachycardia).
While the exact cause of SSS is unknown, some factors, however, often are associated with the condition, such as:
- Previous heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Medications to treat high blood pressure and other heart diseases
- Hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the blood)
- Thyroid disease
- Sleep apnea
- Heart surgery
Sick Sinus Syndrome can be hard to diagnose because symptoms are similar to other diseases. Tests that help determine the cause include:
Potential treatment options include:
The electrophysiologists UT Erlanger Cardiology are leaders - and international physician trainers - in the diagnosis and treatment of SSS and other heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias). Contact us to learn more.
Erlanger Medical Mall
979 East 3rd Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403