Cardiology In Critical Care

Arrhythmia Recognition

Sinus Arrhythmia

Similar to normal sinus rhythm except that PP and RR intervals are irregular because the SA node discharges at a variable frequency.  In children and young adults the irregularity is cyclic or related to respiration with the rate increasing during inspiration and decreasing during expiration.  A cyclic sinus arrhythmia disappears upon exercise or breath holding and is accentuated by deep breathing.  In elderly subjects the irregularity is frequently due to organic heart disease.

 

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