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Heartblock


  Please help me understand meaning of my diagnosis with left fasicular
  hemiblock.  (Physican also called it left bundle block).   I had "abnormal"
  stress test 3 years ago.  Normal rhythm took one hour to return after test.
  Physican suspected infarction and immediately conducted angiogram, which was
  normal.  Recently had another ekg, in which physican said electical pattern
  was continually blocked.  He said this is probably ok, and such conversion
  usually happend. But wants to conduct a different thallium stress test, just
  to be safe.  I'm 53.  Brother (58) had bypass surgery last year.  
  He is diabetic. I do not (but most in my family do) and have heart disease.
  Thank you for helping me understand the meaning of this heart block.
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Dear Ken,
The heart conducts electrical impulses to every part of the heart in order for the heart to pump blood.  This conduction occurs through various specialized bundles of tissue, that are like cables.  These "bundles" can be blocked, in which case the heart has to use an alternative route to get the electrical impulses where they need to go.  This is generally not a problem if only one of the bundles is blocked;  more severe degrees of block may indicate the need for a pacemaker.  If a block is present, the question of "why" is raised.  Sometimes people are born with bundle branch blockages.  Other people develop them as the electrical conduction sytem of their heart ages and degenerates.  Sometimes a bundle branch block is present transiently, at a particular heart rate.  A new bundle branch block always concerns a doctor because it raises the possibility of a heart attack.  Therefore, as you can see, a bundle branch block can signify something benign or something serious.  Especially in someone with a family history of premature heart disease, the level of concern is higher.
Information provided here is of a general nature only.  Specific medical issues can only be addressed by your doctor.  If you would like to be seen by a cardiac electrophysiologist (a specialist in the heart's electrical conduction system) at the Cleveland Clinic, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE for an appointment.  





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