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Sick sinus syndrome in childhood.
  1. H Ector,
  2. L G Van der Hauwaert

    Abstract

    The clinical and electrocardiographic findings in five children with the sick sinus syndrome and an otherwise normal heart are described. There were three boys and two girls. Their age at onset of either bradycardia or symptoms ranged from 1 day to 7 years. In one patient, the youngest ever reported with this syndrome, bradycardia was noted before birth. Four children presented with neurological symptoms--attacks of dizziness, fainting spells, or syncope. One boy, treated for epilepsy before the underlying arrhythmia ws diagnosed, died suddenly while playing. One child had near-fatal syncope caused by ventricular tachycardia. Continuous 24-hour electrocardiographic monitoring is the best method of assessing the severity of the condition. Sinus bradycardia, sinuatrial block, and periods of sinus arrest up to 4.8 seconds were recorded. Two patients had associated atrioventricular block and were therefore presumed to have binodal disease. Atrial fibrillation or flutter occurred in three patients. Isolated sick sinus syndrome may be a life-threatening condition in childhood for which, in selected cases, the insertion of a permanent pacemaker is indicated.

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