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Prolonged sinus pauses with hydromorphone in the absence of cardiac conduction disease.

Author(s): Snarr BS, Rowley CP, Phan SV, Achanti A, Hendrix GH

Affiliation(s): Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina and Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. snarr@musc.edu

Publication date & source: 2011-03, South Med J., 104(3):239-40.

Publication type: Case Reports

A 49-year-old male had open sigmoid colectomy with colorectal anastomosis for sigmoid diverticulitis. The patient was given patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) hydromorphone and subsequently developed bradycardia with prolonged sinus pauses up to 7.1 seconds. The pauses resolved shortly after the hydromorphone was discontinued. This is the first case report to our knowledge of reversible prolonged sinus pauses associated with the use of hydromorphone. Animal studies support a role for opioid signaling at the sinoatrial (SA) node. Hydromorphone is a potential cause of prolonged sinus pauses and should be taken into consideration when monitoring a patient on hydromorphone for pain control.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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