Sinus tachycardia, in the forms of four distinct rhythm disturbances, is frequently encountered in clinical practice but is often overlooked. The most common rhythm, normal sinus tachycardia, whether physiologic, pathologic or iatrogenic, is predominantly catecholamine driven, is virtually asymptomatic and is managed by identifying and treating the underlying cause. The other so-called primary sinus tachycardias, which include inappropriate sinus tachycardia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and sinus node re-entry tachycardia, have fundamentally different clinical features, basic underlying etiologic mechanisms and treatment strategies. Differentiation of these types from normal sinus tachycardia and from other atrial arrhythmias is crucial for successful management. Accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapy of the sinus tachycardias not only prevents multiple consultations but might also have important long-term prognostic implications.
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We thank Professors Michael Frenneaux, Rose Anne Kenny, George Griffin and Douglas Maxwell, and Dr Mashkur Khan for helpful comments.
John Camm acts as the chairman of the ivabradine safety board and receives reimbursement for this work from Servier.
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Yusuf, S., Camm, A. The sinus tachycardias. Nat Rev Cardiol 2, 44–52 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncpcardio0068
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