Conduction Blocks

Conduction Blocks

Conduction block is an abnormal rhythm of your heart beat, it is also known as heart block. With every beat of your heart, electric signal travel from the upper chamber (Atria) and lower chamber (ventricles) of your heart. This electric signal instructs your heart to pump blood. In the conduction block situation, the signal frequency slows down and that affects the heartbeat rate, rhythm, and pattern. In some, it is a congenital issue.

What is a Conduction Block?

A normal heartbeat comes from an electrical signal that comes from the natural pacemaker of the heart. A sinoatrial node is the heart’s natural pacemaker which is located at the top of the right atrium. The electrical signal travels from the upper chamber to the lower chamber of the heart and the signal passes through the bundle. This bundle is further divided into thin wired structures, these are known as branches and extend to the right and left ventricles. The electric signal travels from bundle branches and reaches to muscle cell of the ventricles, it allows them to contract and pump blood. When these signals are interrupted or delayed the conduction block happens.

Types of Conduction Block

  • First-degree heart block
  • Second-degree heart block (type 1)
  • Second-degree heart block (type 2)
  • Third-degree heart block
  • Bundle branch block

What Are The Symptoms?

The people who have heart block doesn’t always show the sign and symptoms of it. On the other hand, others may reflect the following symptoms:

  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Decline in exercise capacity

Risk Factors Related to Conduction Blocks

  • Heart failure
  • Any history of heart attacks
  • Any abnormalities in the heart valves
  • Congenital heart diseases
  • Lyme disease
  • Aging

Diagnosis of Conduction Blocks

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter monitor
  • Stress test
  • Event recorder
  • Magnetic Source Imaging (MSI)
  • Tilt table test
  • Electrophysiology study

Treatments of Conduction Block

  • Medications
  • Follow up electrophysiology
  • Catheter ablation
  • Implantable device (pacemaker)
  • Internal cardioversion
  • Implantable
  • Biventricular pacemaker

Dr. Mahesh Wadhwani

Chief of Cardiac Surgery & HOD
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Opinion based on American heart association guidelines

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