- Heart diseases that affect the AV node. The AV node plays an important role in maintaining proper communication between the upper and lower chambers of the heart.
- Certain neuromuscular conditions (e.g., muscular dystrophy).
- Surgical trauma such as the repair of a heart defect or replacement of valves.
- Chronic or paroxysmal atrioventricular (AV) block in 50 to 60% of patients.
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia or atrial fibrillation in up to 5%.
- Sinoatrial (SA) block in 30 to 40%.
- Loss of consciousness is usually between about 10 and 30 seconds.
- Some seizure-like activity sometimes occurs if the attack is prolonged.
- If anyone manages to check the pulse during an episode, it will be slow, usually less than 40 beats per minute.
- Recovery is fairly rapid although the patient may be confused for a while after.
- Typically complete (third degree) heart block is seen on the ECG during an attack but other ECG abnormalities such as tachy-brady syndrome have been reported..
- Attacks can happen a number of times in one day.
- They are not posture related.
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