Sinus arrhythmia of the heart – what is dangerous, what is it, treatment, drugs, what to do

This arrhythmia is not considered a deviation from the norm, since it represents a slowdown in the heart rate during inhalation and acceleration on exhalation, which is why it is called respiratory. As a rule, in healthy people it is noted due to the fact that at different phases of respiration the influence of the vagus nerve on the sinus node changes.

This type of arrhythmia is often observed in children and adolescents, as well as in adults with vegetovascular dystonia, brain diseases, or a previous severe infection.

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It is diagnosed if the heart rate exceeds 80 beats per minute, and at rest. If this occurs during unrest, stress, anxiety or physical exertion, the condition is not considered a deviation from the norm.

As a rule, tachyarrhythmia is a sign of problems with blood circulation, the autonomic nervous system and the thyroid gland. It is dangerous because, due to overstressed work, the heart is not filled with blood in the right amount, therefore, the blood supply to tissues, organs and the heart itself is disrupted. This condition is dangerous with a decrease in blood pressure and myocardial ischemia, and then with ischemia of the heart and heart attack.


Unlike the previous type, bradyarrhythmia is diagnosed if the pulse rate does not reach 60 beats per minute. This condition develops if there are prerequisites in the form of:

  • sclerotic changes in the myocardium;
  • endocrine disorders;
  • myocarditis;
  • heart ischemia;
  • prolonged fasting;
  • weak sinus node;
  • hypoxia of the brain and circulatory disorders.
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With bradyarrhythmias, in addition to an insufficient heart rate, the patient suffers from dizziness, weakness, heart pain. In addition, fainting occurs if the pulse does not exceed 40 beats per minute. This condition is dangerous by cardiac arrest.


It is diagnosed if the heart muscle or a separate part of it makes premature contraction. This happens, as a rule, due to such provocateurs:

  • lack of potassium in the body;
  • psycho-emotional overload;
  • bad habits – smoking, abuse of coffee or tea;
  • myocardial damage due to cardiosclerosis;
  • myocardial ischemia or dystrophy.

In this condition, the patient feels a sinking heart, sudden tremors, a sense of anxiety and / or lack of air. To normalize the condition, you will need to completely get rid of bad habits and switch to proper nutrition.

Doctors divide sinus arrhythmia into several types. Each of them is characterized by a certain frequency of contraction of the heart muscle.


The condition is characterized by heart palpitations, above 80 beats per minute. At the same time, the blood does not have time to fill the chambers of the heart completely, which leads to disturbances in the work of the heart muscle and internal organs. Tachycardia accompanies diseases such as:

  • circulatory disturbance;
  • problems with the thyroid gland;
  • incorrect functioning of the autonomic nervous system.
  • anemia;
  • hyperthermia, etc.


In this case, the heart beats very slowly, no more than 60 beats per minute. The condition is accompanied by weakness, dizziness and pain in the heart. With a decrease in the number of heart beats to 40 and below, fainting conditions and even cardiac arrest are possible. Causes of bradycardia:

  • overdose of drugs;
  • lack of thyroid hormones, etc.


In this case, premature heart contraction is observed. The reasons may be:

  • emotional overload;
  • lack of magnesium, calcium and potassium in the blood;
  • bad habits.

Sinus rhythm in the norm can be characterized by heart rate within 60 – 80 beats / min with equal intervals of time.

Sinus arrhythmia is divided into such varieties:

  1. Sinus tachycardia . This type of sinus arrhythmia is characterized by an increase in heart rate over 80 beats / min. In general, during such an ailment, the heart rate reaches 90-120 beats / min, but sometimes it is also 150-160. This type of sinus arrhythmia is physiological during a period of physical exertion, psychoemotional stress, during a period of fever.
    Based on the increased heart rate, it is possible to approximately establish the body temperature, since its heart rate per 1 degree is 8-10 beats per minute. Pathological processes in sinus tachycardia accompany hypertension, ischemia, myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, heart defects.
    The occurrence of tachycardia is characteristic of neurosis, anemia, hypotension, thyrotoxicosis, acute and chronic infectious lesions and toxic poisoning.
  2. Sinus bradycardia. This type of arrhythmia occurs when heart rate is less than 60 beats / min. Physiologically, this phenomenon occurs in physically trained people, during sleep, in the 2nd half of pregnancy.
    Physiological sinus bradycardia is characterized by inconsistency – with physical stress, the heart rhythm can become larger. This makes it possible to distinguish sinus bradycardia from atrioventricular block, during which, after tension, the heart rhythm will be slowed down.
    It is also observed during any infectious diseases, prolonged fasting, cardiosclerosis, increased pressure inside the skull, hypothyroidism, nicotine and lead poisoning, and drug overdose.
  3. Respiratory arrhythmia. Its manifestation is in the form of an inappropriate sinus rhythm, during which changing periods of acceleration and deceleration of heart rate are determined. During this phenomenon, the heart rate rises at the moment of inspiration, and when exhaling it decreases. It can often be found in adolescence, in young healthy people. Throughout life, respiratory arrhythmia will disappear.
    But this type of arrhythmia occurs in the period:
    • neurocirculatory dystonia;
    • when recovering from an infectious disease;
    • at the time of pathological processes in the brain.
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Stages and Symptoms

Sinus arrhythmia manifests itself gradually, which depends on its stage:

  1. Moderate (mild). As a rule, it does not appear in any way. May occur due to the specific features of the body of a particular person or accompany old age. The phase is not classified as a deviation from the norm if provoked by hormonal imbalance (often observed in adolescents).
  2. First degree. Manifested by impaired breathing. The condition does not cause discomfort and often disappears without causing concern in humans. However, frequent fainting sometimes also occurs, so a consultation with a doctor is mandatory. As a rule, the degree is characteristic of adolescents during puberty, athletes and the elderly.
  3. Second degree. Symptoms are already clearly manifested, presented in the form of severe weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath. As a rule, a person also suffers from other heart diseases.
  4. Expressed. This is the most dangerous stage, which requires competent treatment. The following symptoms are clearly manifested – rapid or weak pulse (depending on the type of arrhythmia), pain in the chest area, low blood pressure, a feeling of constant lack of sleep, general weakness.


In healthy children of preschool and early school age, as a rule, they are diagnosed with physiological (respiratory) sinus arrhythmia, the absence of which is a sign of pathology of the heart muscle. Other forms of arrhythmias are already causing concern and are caused by such reasons:

  • severe stress;
  • psychological depression;
  • malformations of in-tube development;
  • tumors and heart defects;
  • pathologies of internal organs;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • prolonged and severe infections;
  • myocardial diseases.

In addition, children at the age of 6-7 and 9-10 years are included in the risk group due to an unstable nervous state, as well as in the presence of such indications as:

  • excess weight;
  • rickets;
  • postnatal encephalopathy;
  • diseases of the thyroid gland, heart and blood vessels;
  • rheumatism.

In many cases, this form of arrhythmia in children and adolescents passes independently with age, but if this does not happen, sparing physical activity and full compliance with the rules of a healthy lifestyle are prescribed to prevent negative consequences. In this case, only a doctor can prescribe effective treatment, after having performed an ECG, during which he will ask the patient to hold his breath.

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Sinus arrhythmia causes a violation of the heart rhythm, and the conductivity of electronic internal impulses is also disturbed. This condition can be harmless or dangerous, depending on the type of arrhythmia and its stage. To accurately diagnose the condition, you need to contact a cardiologist or therapist who, if necessary, will prescribe effective treatment or prescribe preventive measures.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.