Incidence and site of atrioventricular block in patients with chronic bifascicular block.
Four hundred fifty-two patients with chronic bifascicular block and initially intact atrioventricular (AV) conduction were detected, studied, and prospectively followed between January 1970 and March 1978. There were 360 males and 92 females, ages 18--93 years (mean +/- SD, 62 +/- 15 years). Follow-up ranged from 29-2804 days (mean 1066 +/- 97 days). AV block (2 degrees or 3 degrees) developed in 29 patients, nine with apparent cause and spontaneously in 20. Cumulative annual incidence of all heart block for 1--5 years was, respectively, 4%, 5.9%, 8.7%, 10.1% and 11.3%, and for spontaneous block was 2%, 3.1%, 5.2%, 6.7%, and 7.1%. Sites of spontaneous block were probably or definitely AV nodal in ten, His bundle in one, and trifascicular in nine. Cumulative incidence of AV block in surviving bifascicular block patients is 11% at 5 years, with 7% reflecting spontaneous block. The probable or definite site of AV block varies and is trifascicular in less than half of the patients. The small incidence of trifascicular block probably explains the difficulty in predicting this complication with electrophysiological studies.
- Copyright © 1979 by American Heart Association