Electrocardiographic Features and Prevalence of Bilateral Bundle-Branch DelayCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
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.
Conclusions—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.
- Received August 24, 2013.
- Accepted June 16, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.