Etiology of Right Bundle-Branch Block in Patients Undergoing Total Correction of Tetralogy of Fallot
The electrocardiographic (ECG) pattern of right bundle-branch block (RBBB) occurs routinely in patients after open-heart surgery for tetralogy of Fallot (TF). To determine the etiology of the RBBB pattern, 14 patients with TF, seven with ventricular septal defects (VSD), and one with pulmonary stenosis (PS) were studied during and after cardiac surgery. Bipolar electrograms from 10 selected right ventricular epicardial sites were recorded simultaneously with an ECG. Records were obtained before and immediately after vertical right ventriculotomy, after infundibular resection, and after repair of a ventricular septal defect (VSD). The vertical ventriculotomy alone was always associated with significant prolongation of the time of epicardial activation only to the recording sites lateral to the incision with prolongation of the QRS complex by an average of 39 msec, and with the appearance of an RBBB ECG pattern. Infundibular resection and VSD repair were not associated with any changes in the electrophysiologic parameters measured. A retrospective analysis of 251 patients with TF, VSD, and PS revealed a 100% incidence of RBBB pattern in the electrocardiograms of only those who had undergone ventriculotomy. It can be concluded that the RBBB pattern seen postoperatively in patients with TF is due to changes in right ventricular activation secondary to the vertical ventriculotomy.
- Vertical ventriculotomy
- Right ventricular activation time
- Specialized conduction system
- Congenital heart disease
- Cardiac surgery
- Received June 22, 1971.
- Accepted August 3, 1971.
- © 1971 American Heart Association, Inc.