This syndrome is characteristic for old age and is caused by degenerative processes of the electrical conduction system of the heart. The degenerated conduction system tends to give rise to different rhythm disorders, which can be rapid or slow. Therefore, it is also known in the literature as “rapid-slow syndrome”.
Patients suffering from this disorder may experience weakness, syncope, chest pain or dyspnea resulting from the alternate slow or rapid heart rate.
Quite often, this syndrome may pose a serious therapeutic challenge, because rapid heart rate disorders require drugs that slow up the heart rate, but such slowing can be too drastic because of the tendency to slow heart rate. Therefore, such patients often need pacemaker implantation to protect them from too slow rhythm and thus enabling proper medical treatment against rapid rhythm disorders.