I am a 24 year old female who has been suffering from chest pain since approximately January of this year. My primary care physician and an ER doctor have both diagnosed me with costochondritis. However, one evening about a month ago I had a panic attack (I have been suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks for almost a year) and ended up in the ER. They did blood tests, chest X-rays, and an EKG to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack, and the ER physician concluded that I was fine. He told me to follow up with my physician and have her order an echocardiogram as an outpatient procedure to make sure there was not a problem with my heart valve. When my doctor read the ER report, she said she noticed "minor abnormalities which could be normal variants" on my EKG and referred me to a cardiologist. I finally saw the cardiologist today and he looked at the EKG and said "it looks fine but it could also indicate right bundle branch block (RBBB) which is a benign condition." He ordered a stress echocardiogram for later this week and told me not to worry.
I guess I am just really confused because he didn't actually say I have RBBB. I have been looking it up online all day (like I said, highly anxious person) and am really scared now. I am an otherwise healthy person who doesn't smoke and I exercise at least 5 times per week. Is this something I should be worried about?
For some insight the right bundle branch is part of a pathway for electrical impulses to pass in route to contract the right heart ventricle. Apparently you doctor is not very concerned so a blocked pathway is not medically significant. Also, artifacts and normal variants are considered insignificant. Ocassionally, an electrical impulse may become blocked or lost and the heart skips a beat. Not unusual occurrence, and should be of no concern.
There is not an expert forum, but this forum has members that are experienced, knowledgable and provide reliable answers to heart disease questions.
For some insight, the septum (wall that separates left and right heart chambers) provides pathways for electrical impulses that contract the left and right lower pumping chambers. The pathways are called bundle branch, and it appears there is a blockage (partially?) of an impulse that goes to your right ventricle (lower chamber pumping chamber) and RBBB is stands for Right Bundle Branch Block.
There are degrees that may not be of any concern with RBBB. First, the electrical impulses are slowed as they pass through the conduction system, but all of them successfully reach the ventricles. This would be a first-degree heart block rarely causes any symptoms or problems, and well-trained athletes may have this. Medications can contribute to the condition. No treatment is generally necessary for first degree heart block.
Or the condition can cause skipped heartbeats that usually is of no concern as well and common.
In some cases, a pacemaker is implanted to treat the abnormally slow heartbeat that may result from this condition.
Hope this helps provide an insight, and thanks for sharing.
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