The Conduction System in Acute Myocardial Infarction Complicated by Heart Block
Detailed histological examination of the conduction system in 29 cases of acute myocardial infarction complicated by heart block has been carried out. In 24 cases posterior infarction was present and occlusion had occurred in the artery from which the blood supply to the A-V node was ultimately derived. In these cases major structural damage to the conduction system was rare, but when present, involved the bundle branches. A-V block in posterior infarction is therefore usually due to hypoxia or other reversible factors rather than structural damage to the conduction system. These findings are consistent with the high incidence of transient heart block in survivors.
In five cases anterior infarction alone was present. The blood supply of the A-V node was not compromised, but massive infarction had caused major damage to both bundle branches.
Since major structural damage to the conduction system is uncommon in myocardial infarction, only a minority of survivors will have permanent heart block. In those cases in which there is extensive damage to the bundle branches there is a risk of high mortality and permanent block particularly when the infarct is anteroseptal.
- Bundle-branch block
- ECG findings
- Coronary arterial occlusion
- Nodal artery occlusion
- Pathology of A-V node
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.