[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Definitive diagnosis of bilateral bundle-branch delay/block may be made when catheter-induced right bundle-branch block (RBBB) develops in patients with baseline left bundle-branch (LBB) block. We hypothesized that a RBBB pattern with absent S waves in leads I and aVL will identify bilateral bundle-branch delay/block.
Methods and results:
Fifty patients developing transient RBBB pattern in lead V1 during right heart catheterization were studied. Patients were grouped according to whether the baseline ECG demonstrated a normal QRS, left fascicular blocks, or LBB block pattern. The RBBB morphologies in each group were compared. The prevalence of bilateral bundle-branch delay/block pattern was examined in our hospital ECG database. All patients with baseline normal QRS complexes (n=30) or left fascicular blocks (4 anterior, 5 posterior) developed a typical RBBB pattern. Among the 11 patients with a baseline LBB block pattern, 7 developed an atypical RBBB pattern with absent S waves in leads I and aVL and the remaining 4 demonstrated a typical RBBB. The absence of S waves in leads I and aVL during RBBB was 100% specific and 64% sensitive for the presence of pre-existing LBB block. Among the consecutive 2253 hospitalized patients with RBBB, 34 (1.5%) had the bilateral bundle-branch delay/block pattern.
An ECG pattern of RBBB in lead V1 with absent S wave in leads I and aVL indicates concomitant LBB delay. Pure RBBB and bifascicular blocks are associated with S waves in leads I and aVL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB) undergoing right heart catheterization can develop complete heart block (CHB) or right bundle branch block (RBBB) in response to right bundle branch (RBB) trauma. We hypothesized that LBBB patients with an initial r wave (>or=1 mm) in lead V1 have intact left to right ventricular septal (VS) activation suggesting persistent conduction over the left bundle branch. Trauma to the RBB should result in RBBB pattern rather than CHB in such patients.
Between January 2002 and February 2007, we prospectively evaluated 27 consecutive patients with LBBB developing either CHB or RBBB during right heart catheterization. The prevalence of an r wave >or=1 mm in lead V1 was determined using 118 serial LBBB electrocardiographs (ECGs) from our hospital database.
Catheter trauma to the RBB resulted in CHB in 18 patients and RBBB in 9 patients. All 6 patients with >or=1 mm r wave in V1 developed RBBB. Among these 6 patients q wave in lead I, V5, or V6 were present in 3. Four patients (3 in CHB group and 1 in RBBB group) developed spontaneous CHB during a median follow-up of 61 months. V1 q wave >or=1 mm was present in 28% of hospitalized complete LBBB patients.
An initial r wave of >or=1 mm in lead V1 suggests intact left to right VS activation and identifies LBBB patients at low risk of CHB during right heart catheterization. These preliminary findings indicate that an initial r wave of >or=1 mm in lead V1, present in approximately 28% of ECGs with classically defined LBBB, may constitute a new exclusion criterion when defining complete LBBB.