Carotid Sinus Massage
Carotid Sinus Massage
Carotid sinus massage involves rubbing the large part of the arterial wall at the point where the common carotid artery, located in the neck, divides into its two main branches.
Sinus, in this case, means an area in a blood vessel that is bigger than the rest of the vessel. This is a normal dilation of the vessel. Located in the neck just below the angle of the jaw, the carotid sinus sits above the point where the carotid artery divides into its two main branches. Rubbing the carotid sinus stimulates an area in the artery wall that contains nerve endings. These nerves respond to changes in blood pressure and are capable of slowing the heart rate. The response to this simple procedure often slows a rapid heart rate (for example, atrial flutter or atrial tachycardia) and can provide important diagnostic information to the physician.
The patient will be asked to lie down, with the neck fully extended and the head turned away from the side being massaged. While watching an electrocardiogram monitor, the doctor will gently touch the carotid sinus. If there is no change in the heart rate on the monitor, the pressure is applied more firmly with a gentle rotating motion. After massaging one side of the neck, the massage will be repeated on the other side. Both sides of the neck are never massaged at the same time.
No special preparation is needed for carotid sinus massage.
No aftercare is required.
The physician must be sure there is no evidence of blockage in the carotid artery before performing the procedure. Massage in a blocked area might cause a clot to break loose and cause a stroke.
Carotid sinus massage will slow the heart rate during episodes of atrial flutter, fibrillation, and some tachycardias. It has been known to stop the arrhythmia completely. If the procedure is being done to help diagnose angina pectoris, massaging the carotid sinus may make the discomfort go away.
McGood, Michael D., editor. Mayo Clinic Heart Book: The Ultimate Guide to Heart Health. New York: William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1993.
Angina pectoris— Chest pain usually caused by a lack of oxygen in the heart muscle.
Arrhythmia— Any deviation from a normal heart beat.
Atrial fibrillation— A condition in which the upper chamber of the heart quivers instead of pumping in an organized way.
Atrial flutter— Rapid, inefficient contraction of the upper chamber of the heart.
Carotid artery— One of the major arteries supplying blood to the head and neck.
Tachycardia— A rapid heart beat, usually over 100 beats per minute.
"Carotid Sinus Massage." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/carotid-sinus-massage
"Carotid Sinus Massage." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. . Retrieved September 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/carotid-sinus-massage
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.