What is Sinus Arrhythmia?
The term sinus arrhythmia refers to a group of abnormal heart rhythms called atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). These rhythms cause irregular heartbeat. The rhythm may be slow or fast, but the most common type is called AF. Other types include:
Atrioventricular Rhythm (AVR): A variant of AF with a slower rate of beat than normal.
Cardiac Tachycardia: A rapid heart rate associated with cardiac arrest.
Ventricular Rhythm: An irregular heartbeat caused by changes in blood flow to the heart.
How Is Sinus Arrhythmia Diagnosed?
Sinus arrhythmias are usually diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. Your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. They will also take a detailed history of your symptoms and any medications you have taken.
Your doctor may order additional tests if they suspect that you might have a heart condition such as:
Aortic dissection – A tear in the wall of the aorta, which carries blood from your heart to your body. This is one of the leading causes of sudden death among young adults between 15 and 30 years old.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: Also known as “broken heart syndrome,” this is a temporary weakening of the heart muscle caused by emotional or physical stress. It can produce symptoms that are similar to heart attacks.
EKG (electrocardiogram) is a test that records the electrical activity of your heart. A Holter monitor is a portable device that records your EKG for 24 hours.
Sources & references used in this article:
Sinus arrhythmia in acute myocardial infarction by MM Wolf, GA Varigos, D Hunt… – Medical Journal of …, 1978 – Wiley Online Library
Respiratory sinus arrhythmia: a frequency dependent phenomenon by A Angelone, NA Coulter JR – Journal of Applied Physiology, 1964 – journals.physiology.org
Respiratory sinus arrhythmia in humans: how breathing pattern modulates heart rate by JA Hirsch, B Bishop – American Journal of Physiology …, 1981 – journals.physiology.org
Respiratory sinus arrhythmia: autonomic origins, physiological mechanisms, and psychophysiological implications by GG Berntson, JT Cacioppo, KS Quigley – Psychophysiology, 1993 – Wiley Online Library