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What causes sinus arrhythmia in my child suffering from asthma?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 3552 Questions
My 8 year old just recovered from strep a and scarlet fever, which he was hhospitalized for in nov. Still has inflammed tonsils and has asthma (slight). Never wheezed ever but he coughs and oxy sats go a little low. My big worry is since his illness ive notice his heart rate is always fast. Norm at sleep, but even sitting playing a game or eating its 130-140 and while walking around the house 150-160. He had a 48 hr holter and it recorded his heart rate reaching 193 bpm and as low as 50 bpm. He was diagnosed with SINUS ARRHYTHMIA and doctor isnt concerned. Im worried this is caused from him being sick. What causes this? Is it temporary? Dangerous? He will be 8 in 2 weeks.
Posted Thu, 30 Jan 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Sinus arrhythmia is not XXXXXXX is normal/common Detailed Answer: Hi my dear, I read the medical history of your boy and understood your concerns. Please let me explain that sinus arrhythmia is a very common condition where the heart rhythm/rate varies with breathing as it is exposed to changes in the pressure of the chest cavity. It is a very common condition found in children and is not considered a disease, explaining why his doctor is not concerned. It is true that high fever and infection can raise heart beats and this is common and perfectly normal too. Sinus arrhythmia is not XXXXXXX but a normal condition. It will be vanished by time or remain the same without causing any harm to your boy. All the best to both of you! Dr.Alba
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Follow-up: What causes sinus arrhythmia in my child suffering from asthma? 21 minutes later
Is it normal for his heart to be that fast without fever and sickness? He has been over that strep for awhil and his heart is still too fast.
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 23 minutes later
Brief Answer: If not anemic,heart rate is within normal range... Detailed Answer: Hi back my dear, Thank you for following up. Normal heart beats for children age as of your son's is between 60 to 130 at rest. You are saying that his heart beat is up to 140 when he is playing or eating and up to 160 when walking around the house or reached up to 193 when Holter monitoring. This is perfectly normal as heart beats are increased when he is involving in activities including eating, particularly true in children. With regards to sleeping heart rate of 50, that is also normal due to decreased activity during sleeping. However, I'd suggest to keep following up with cardiologist as strep throat is associated with heart problems (valvular problems) later in life. For the time being, if the blood tests did not resulted as anemia, his heart rate ranges within the normal levels. All the best! Dr.Alba
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