Sinus tachycardia may be caused by a variety of stimuli.


Pharmacologic causes:

(1) caffeine

(2) alcohol

(3) albuterol (salbutamol) or other beta-adrenergic agonists

(4) high doses of amphetamine (heart rate shows reflex slowing at lower doses)

(5) theophylline


Endocrine causes:

(1) thyrotoxicosis

(2) epinephrine (pheochromocytoma)



(1) fever

(2) anemia

(3) hypovolemia (associated with hemorrhage or other cause)

(4) hypoxemia (including pulmonary embolism)

(5) exertion or exercise

(6) fear or anxiety

(7) pain

(8) myocardial infarction



(1) re-entry phenomenon within the sinoatrial node (may have an abrupt onset and can be terminated by a vagal stimulus)


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