Clinical and electrophysiologic findings in patients with paroxysmal slowing of the sinus rate and apparent Mobitz type II atrioventricular block.
Over five years, 13 patients with episodic apparent type II atrioventricular (AV) block associated with sinus slowing were seen. This phenomenon occurred only transiently during an acute illness in eight patients (group I) but recurred chronically in five (groupII). For the group as a whole, the mean spontaneous cycle length was 42% longer during the period of AV block compared with periods of 1:1 AV conduction (800 +/- 116 msec to 1138 +/- 489 msec) (P less than 0.05). Electrophysiologic studies in four group I patients showed no abnormalities, whereas abnormalities in AV nodal conduction and refractoriness or provocation of intranodal Mobitz type II AV block (during carotid massage) were observed in three patients in group II and were totally abolished by atropine. In group I patients, apparent type II AV block was self-limited. In the chronic group, recurrent symptoms required insertion of permanent pacemakers in two patients. Simultaneous type II block and sinus slowing appeared to be related to the effects of increased vagal tone on both nodal structures. Intracardiac pacing is not indicated for patients with transient episodes associated with an acute illness, but may be required for symptomatic patients with recurrent episodes.
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