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Electrophysiologic testing in bundle branch block and unexplained syncope


American Journal of Cardiology 54(6): 587-591
Electrophysiologic testing in bundle branch block and unexplained syncope
Patients (32) with bundle branch block and unexplained syncope underwent electrophysiologic testing, including programmed ventricular stimulation with up to triple extrastimuli. The infranodal conduction time (HV) was 70 ms or greater in 12 patients. Pathologic infranodal block during atrial pacing occurred in 2 patients. Unimorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) was induced in 9 patients (28%) and polymorphic VT in 5 (16%). A permanent pacemaker was implanted in patients with infranodal block during atrial pacing and, generally, in patients with an HV of 70 ms or more. Patients with inducible unimorphic or sustained polymorphic VT were treated with an antiarrhythmic drug. The mean follow-up period was 19 .+-. 14 mo. (.+-. SD). Three patients died suddenly: a noncompliant patient with inducible sustained VT; a patient with a normal electrophysiologic study treated empirically with quinidine for premature ventricular complexes; and a patient with an HV of 70 ms and no inducible VT treated with a permanent pacemaker. The actuarial incidence of sudden death was 10% at 45 mo. of follow-up. Only 2 patients had recurrent syncope; both had a normal electrophysiologic study. Approximately 50% of patients with bundle branch block and unexplained syncope who undergo electrophysiologic testing are found to have a clinically significant abnormality (HV of 70 ms or more, infranodal block during atrial pacing and inducible unimorphic VT), and some patients have > 1 abnormality. Long-term management guided by the results of electrophysiologic testing generally is successful in preventing recurrent syncope. Patients who have a normal electrophysiologic study or who have inducible nonsustained polymorphic VT usually have a benign prognosis when left untreated.

Accession: 005349365

PMID: 6475778

DOI: 10.1016/0002-9149(84)90254-6

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