Bradycardia in Jaundice: Causes of Bradycardia in Jaundice

Question: What is the reason for bradycardia in biliary cirrhosis and in Jaundice?

Answer: Bradycardia i.e. reduction in the normal pulse rate which is in the range of 60-80 heart beats per minutes, is frequently observed in cases of obstructive jaundice. Sinus bradycardia however is commonly associated with secondary biliary cirrhosis (i.

e. obstruction of the major bile duct or its branch which are located outside the liver) and is less frequently observed in primary biliary cirrhosis (i.e. Obstruction of biliary system within the liver).

Under normal conditions, heart beats are control by a group of nodes on the cardiac muscles referred to as Sino-Atrial Nodes or the SA Nodes. These nodes release electrical impulses which stimulate atrial contractions and also stimulate the other band of nodes the Atrio-Ventricular Nodes (AV nodes), which in turn results in the ventricular contractions.

Causes of Bradycardia in Jaundice

In case of obstructive jaundice, the levels of serum bilirubin tend to increase beyond normal limits.

These increased levels of serum bilirubin are known to limit the conduction of electrical impulse by the SA nodes which in turn results in bradycardia (i.

e. heart rate of up to 50 beats per minute)

Bradycardia is listed as one of the symptoms of obstructive jaundice; however the association is fairly vivid and doesn’t have substantial clinical evidence.

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