Bundle Branch Block
How is the heart stimulated to beat?
Normally, electrical impulses within your heart’s muscle signal it to beat (contract). These impulses travel along a
pathway, passing from your heart’s upper chambers (atria) through a small mass of cells called the atrioventricular (AV)
node and then to the lower chambers (ventricle).
Along the route on this pathway, the impulses move along a slender cluster of cardiac fibers called the “bundle of HIS”,
which divides into two branches – the right and the left bundles – one for each of the heart’s ventricles.
If one or both of these branch bundles become damaged it will cause a time delay for the impulses to travel through the
conducting pathway. The heart’s electrical impulses that make your heart beat may be slowed down or blocked. When
this occurs, the ventricle longer contracts in perfect coordination with one another.
What is Bundle Branch Block?
Bundle branch block is a delay or obstruction of the electrical impulses that travel to make your heart beat. Bundle
branch block can occur in people who appear healthy or it may be a sign of an underlying heart problem. Injury or
damage to the heart muscle or blockage of a blood vessel in your heart can slow or block the electrical impulses that
make your heart beat.
Although bundle branch block itself often requires no direct treatment, you will need treatment of any underlying health
condition which could cause bundle branch block, such as coronary heart disease.
How Is Bundle Branch Block diagnosed?
Bundle Branch Block is only diagnosed from the electrocardiogram(EKG). Abnormalities in the wave patterns on the EKG may
indicate the presence of bundle branch block. These electrical patterns can also point to whether the block is affecting the right or left
What are the symptoms of Bundle Branch Block?
Most people with bundle branch block do not have any symptoms, For those people who have slow heart rate with their Bundle Branch Block may have signs and syniptoms such as:
- Fainting (syncope)
- Feeling as if you’re going to faint (presyncope)
- A slow heart rate (brachycardia)
You may be born with tbe condition (congenital) and have bundle brancb block for years witbout knowing it.
This Is particularly true with bundle brancb block tbat occurs on tbe rigbt side of your heart, which tends to be
less serious than is left bundle brancb block.
What are tbe causes of Bundle Branch Block?
The following can cause Bundle Branch Block:
- A heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Thickened, stiffened or weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
- A viral or bacterial infection of the heart muscle (myocarditis)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Scar tissue that develops after heart surgery
- A heart abnonnaUty that’s present at birth (congenital) – such as atrial septal defect, a hole in the wall
separating the upper chambers of the heart
Most patients who bave Bundle Branch Block have no known cause, This is called a normal variant with
no obvious causes.
When should you seek medical advice?
If you have heart disease, or if your physician has already diagnosed you with bundle branch block, make regular
appointments to be sure that your condition does not worsen. If you are symptom free with bundle branch block it
may be important to be followed by a physician:
What is the treatment for Bundle Branch Block?
There is no specific treatment for bundle branch block. in fact, in most cases people are symptom free and there is no
need for therapy. If you have heart disease it is important to control your risk factors.
- Stop cigarette smoking
- Reduce the dietary cholesterol and fat in your meals
- Keep your weight at normal levels
- Exercise regularly
- Control diabetes