Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Carotid Sinus Syndrome Overview

Another name for Carotid Sinus Syndrome is Carotid Sinus Hypersensitivity.

What is carotid sinus hypersensitivity?
A person with carotid sinus hypersensitivity syndrome has an overly sensitive carotid sinus. The carotid sinuses are located in the carotid arteries in the neck. The carotid sinus contains a sensory organ, which, when stimulated by pressure within the vessel, causes slowing of the heart rate and dilation of blood vessels in the body. The net result is a decline in blood pressure when pressure within the carotid sinus is elevated. Over-stimulation of a sensitive carotid sinus can reduce blood pressure too much and cause faintness or fainting.

What are the symptoms of carotid sinus hypersensitivity?
Symptoms of carotid sinus hypersensitivity include dizziness, faintness, and fainting.

How does the doctor treat carotid sinus hypersensitivity?
Treatment for carotid sinus hypersensitivity includes avoiding placing pressure on the front of the neck. Other measures include avoiding stimulants, caffeine, and cold medicines. More severe cases may require treatment with a pacemaker.

Continue to Carotid Sinus Syndrome Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Carotid Sinus Syndrome References
  1. Brignole M. Randomized clinical trials of neurally mediated syncope. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2003 Sep;14(9 Suppl):S64-9. [12950522]
  2. Freitas J. Carotid sinus syndrome. Management and approach. Rev Port Cardiol. 2004 Jun;23(6):903-10. English, Portuguese. [1537673]
  3. Kenny RA, Richardson DA, Steen N, Bexton RS, Shaw FE, Bond J. Carotid sinus syndrome: a modifiable risk factor for nonaccidental falls in older adults (SAFE PACE). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Nov 1;38(5):1491-6. [1169152]
  4. Moore A, Watts M, Sheehy T, Hartnett A, Clinch D, Lyons D. Treatment of vasodepressor carotid sinus syndrome with midodrine: a randomized, controlled pilot study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Jan;53(1):114-8. [15667387]
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