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Definition of Rhythm, sinus

Rhythm, sinus: The normal regular rhythm of the heart set by the natural pacemaker of the heart called the sinoatrial (or sinus) node. It is located in the wall of the right atrium (the right upper chamber of the heart). Normal cardiac impulses start there and are transmitted to the atria and down to the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart).

Sinus arrhythmia refers to the normal increase in heart rate that occurs during inspiration (when you breathe in). This is a normal response and is more accentuated in children than adults.

Sinus tachycardia refers to a fast heartbeat (tachycardia) because of rapid firing of the sinoatrial (sinus) node. This occurs in response to exercise, exertion, excitement, pain, fever, excessive thyroid hormone, low blood oxygen (hypoxia), stimulant drugs (such as caffeine), etc.

The lack of normal sinus rhythm is an arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9742
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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