Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - CRC on June 15, 1998 at 15:49:16:
In Reply to: Left Bundle Branch Block posted by Bren on June 15, 1998 at 13:24:40:
After an abnormal EKG which was preceded by chest pressure and shortness of breath
upon exercise, being extremely tired, and having heart palpitations
, I have undergone a stress test
using Persantine which indicated a perfusion defect of the left
ventricle. I then was referred to a cardiologist and underwent
two echocardiograms and a cardiac catheterization, which showed no
blockages. I am a pre-menopausal woman. I have been diagnosed with
left bundle branch block and was told that this can mimic a heart attack
and cause all of the symptoms listed above. I have been cleared to
return to work. Is this an accurate description of what can happen to
someone with bundle branch block? Can I always expect to be overtired
and have these symptoms?
Thank you in advance
Left bundle branch block (LBBB) a conduction abnormality of the heart that should not cause you any concern. To explain LBBB let me tell you a little bit about the electrical system of the heart. The regular heart beat (sinus beat) starts in the upper chambers of the heart (the atrium) from a group of heart cells called the sinus node. The electrical signal then proceeds down to a area of heart tissue called the AV node. From here it travels to the ventricles (the lower heart chambers) down electrical pathways (fibers) called bundles. A delay in one of these bundles is called an Intraventricular conduction delay. A complete block in one of the bundles is called a bundle branch block. These delays and blocks can be caused by any number of things. The most common is a fibrosis of the conduction system that increases with age. Both of these conditions are common and are not cause for any concern.
LBBB can "mimic" the findings of a heart attack on nuclear perfusion tests. This is not due to a delay in blood flow to the heart but due to the change in the conduction system. LBBB does not usually cause any symptoms. It may be an early indication of someone who at some point in their life may need a pacemaker. Hope this information helps.
Information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Only your doctor can provide specific diagnoses and treatments. If you would like to be seen at the Cleveland Clinic, please Call 1 - 800 - CCF - CARE for an appointment at Desk F15 with a cardiologist.
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