Tachy Brady Syndrome – Definition, Symptoms, Treatment

What is Tachy Brady Syndrome?

The tachy brady syndrome is technically known as the sinus node dysfunction. In layman’s term the syndrome is known as the sick sinus syndrome. The condition is described as the abnormalities in the conduction system of the heart.

In simple terms, there is an alternation of a fast heart rate and a slow heart rate. This condition can somehow become perilous and place great concern to the affected. According to statistics, about 1 out of 1,600 people who are ages 50 and above is suffering from this condition.

The Conduction System of the Heart pictures

The Conduction System of the Heart

Basically, the conduction system of the heart has the problem causing these arrhythmias. The imbalance of the heart rate is the main characteristic of the syndrome. Another known fact of the disease is the irreversibility of the heart dysfunction.


Tachy brady syndrome is characterized by an increased cardiac rate or medically known as tachycardia. Tachycardia is then replaced by a sudden decrease of the normal heart rate known as bradycardia. These changes are significant as there are skipped beats in between the two changes. Because of such phenomenon, there is a lack of oxygen and nutritional supply towards the heart and the whole body system. The syndrome is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness. The manifestation is most prominent at day time.  This is due to the inability of the heart to pump effectively the oxygenated blood.
  • Feeling of faintness. The same process is involved where lack of oxygen supply initiates the problem.
  • Palpitations are noted. This is a common manifestation of tachy brady syndrome.
  • Sweating. This is a compensatory mechanism as the heart rates become uncontrollable.
  • Chest pain and difficulty of breathing are noted.

Causes & risk factors

The definitive cause of this condition is not entirely clear. There are many proposed cause of the syndrome. The following are the considered causes and risk factors of tachy brady syndrome:

  • Age. The elderly are most at risk or mostly affected by tachy brady syndrome. The age is factorial as fibrosis of the sinus node may cause the abnormality of the heart rates.
  • Underlying heart disease. It has been reported that a coronary artery disease can result to tachy brady syndrome.
  • Familial attribution. There are cases where some acquire the heart condition when a close family member has also been suffering from the disease.
  • Medications. There are certain medications that could cause tachy brady syndrome. These medications are known to be beta-blockers, digoxin and anti-arrhythmic drugs.
  • Electrolyte imbalance. Sodium and potassium levels are essential in regulating the heart rate.


Tachy brady syndrome can be diagnosed through these tests:

  • Laboratory examination – Blood is extracted in order to assess the client’s thyroid function, which may indicate for serum electrolyte imbalance. The Na, K and Ca electrolytes are essential components in the conduction system. Once these levels are altered, the effect on the conduction system can be grave that heart rates and rhythm are altered.
  • An echocardiogram is requested. This shall include assessing for any underlying heart condition.Electrocardiograph study is performed in order to assess the state of the heart. Tachycardia and bradycardia is easily assessed with this examination.
Tachy-Brady Syndrome images
Tachy Brady Syndrome: An ECG Result Showing Fast Heart Rate (ECG Waves that are close together) and Slow Heart Rate (Waves that are far apart)


The treatments for tachy brady syndrome are the following:

Surgical intervention

Placing a pacemaker is the most ideal surgical intervention for the syndrome. The pacemaker then corrects any abnormal heart rate by sending electrical impulses to the heart. There are a number of precautions when one is with a pacemaker. They are highly advised to wear a Med Alert bracelet which indicates they have a pacemaker. Taking of a pain reliever when with a pacemaker is essential in order to reduce the discomfort that comes along with it. Remember that the pacemaker can set off a metal detector alarm. Magnets should be kept away from the patient especially from the chest area.

Lifestyle changes

This is a significant method in treating tachy brady syndrome. Drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking and drinking caffeinated drinks are to be halted. Losing weight is also essential in the process of recovery. Controlling ones blood pressure is also a must. Compliance with the treatment regimen is the best medicine for the disease.


Tachy brady syndrome can become fatal, especially when treatment has not been provided accordingly and compliance has not been attained by the patient. The following complications may arise:

  • Development of embolic cerebrovascular disorders is likely.
  • The patient may also suffer from congestive heart failure.
  • Cardiac arrest.

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