Bradycardia - Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who treats bradycardia ?

The cardiologist is the specialist who treats bradycardia

2. How does your heart beat ?

The heart beat is initiated normally by an electrical discharge from the sinoatrial node or the SA node. The atria and ventricles depolarise sequentially as electrical depolarisation passes through the specialised conducting tissues.

3. How is heart rate regulated?

The sinus node acts as a pacemaker and its intrinsic rate is regulated by the autonomic nervous system. Thus vagal activity slows the heart rate and sympathetic activity accelerates it via the cardiac sympathetic nerves and circulating catecholamines.

The subsidiary pacemakers in the Atrioventricular node, specialized conducting system and muscle initiate activation if the SA node is dysfunctional or suppressed.

The subsidiary pacemakers discharge at a slower rate and in the absence of an appropriate increase in stroke volume, may result in tissue hypoperfusion.

4. What is an arrhythmia?

Disturbance in the electrical rhythm of the heart is called arrhythmia.

5. When do arrhythmias occur?

Arrhythmias can occur in a normal heart or when there is structural heart disease.

6. What are the symptoms of arrhythmia?

Symptoms occur with extremes of heart rate. Symptoms include palpitation, dizziness, syncope, chest discomfort, breathlessness and can cause heart failure and sudden death.

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