Doctors define bradycardia as an abnormally low heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
A normal heart rate in adults is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Some people who have a slow heartbeat are completely healthy, such as athletes whose exercise regimen improves their heart's ability to pump blood efficiently.
In people with bradycardia, however, the heart beats so slowly — less than 60 beats per minute — that the body does not get enough blood and oxygen to function properly.
Bradycardia causes may include:
In serious cases, bradycardia can cause complications such as:
The UPMC Cardiac Electrophysiology Program is the largest in western Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the United States.
We offer a full range of diagnostic tests and treatment options for bradycardia.
In addition to an abnormally slow heartbeat (less than 60 beats per minute), symptoms of bradycardia may include:
During your physical exam, your doctor at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute's Cardiac Electrophysiology Program will:
Following your exam, your doctor may order additional tests and procedures to confirm a diagnosis of bradycardia.
These may include:
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to expect your test results and will call you when they're available.
Bradycardia treatment depends on your test results.
Your doctor at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute's Cardiac Electrophysiology Program will go over your test results and discuss treatment options.
Treatment may not be required or we may monitor your heart rhythm periodically if test results show the following
If Bradycardia is caused by an underlying disorder, such as hypothyroidism or obstructive sleep apnea, we may treat the underlying disorder, which may correct abnormal heart rhythm.
If Bradycardia caused by medicine, we may prescribe a lower dose or another medicine.
If Bradycardia is caused by a problem with your heart's conduction system, we may implant a pacemaker that produces electrical impulses, when needed, to steady heart rate.
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers educational information and videos about bradycardia tests and treatments.
Many people find these resources helpful in answering their questions about their condition and preparing them for their procedure or diagnostic test.