Sinus Node Suppression in Acute Strokes--Case Reports

Bashour, Tali T.; Cohen, Michael S.; Ryan, Colman; Antonini Sr., Charles
December 1988
Angiology;Dec1988, Vol. 39 Issue 12, p1048
Academic Journal
The authors report on 5 patients, 4 of them observed over a period of only two months in one community hospital, who developed profound sinus node suppression in the early phase following acute strokes. This complication resulted in the death of 2; in the remaining 3, it was controlled by electrical cardiac pacing or intravenous atropine. In 3 patients, the strokes were due to subarachnoid hemorrhage, and in 2, they were secondary to vascular occlusion. In at least 4 patients, the prognosis seemed favorable from a neurologic standpoint. Vagally mediated sinus node arrest may, therefore, represent a potentially fatal complication of strokes and may be more frequent than currently appreciated. Continuous monitoring in the early phase of acute strokes and pacemaker therapy may be lifesaving in some patients. This and the general phenomenon of functional failure of the sinus node due to a variety of causes are discussed.


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