Bradyarrhythmias: Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis, and Management

Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2016 Sep;28(3):297-308. doi: 10.1016/j.cnc.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Jun 22.


Bradyarrhythmias are common clinical findings consisting of physiologic and pathologic conditions (sinus node dysfunction and atrioventricular [AV] conduction disturbances). Bradyarrhythmias can be benign, requiring no treatment; however, acute unstable bradycardia can lead to cardiac arrest. In patients with confirmed or suspected bradycardia, a thorough history and physical examination should include possible causes of sinoatrial node dysfunction or AV block. Management of bradycardia is based on the severity of symptoms, the underlying causes, presence of potentially reversible causes, presence of adverse signs, and risk of progression to asystole. Pharmacologic therapy and/or pacing are used to manage unstable or symptomatic bradyarrhythmias.

Keywords: Atrioventricular block; Bradyarrhythmia; Sinus arrest; Sinus node dysfunction; Tachycardia-bradycardia syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrioventricular Block / diagnosis*
  • Atrioventricular Block / drug therapy
  • Bradycardia / diagnosis*
  • Bradycardia / drug therapy
  • Disease Management*
  • Heart Arrest
  • Humans
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / drug therapy