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Am J Cardiol. 1989 Mar 1;63(9):526-9.

Frequency and significance of complete atrioventricular block after coronary artery bypass grafting.

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Carmel Hospital, Haifa, Israel.


Three hundred forty-eight consecutive patients were evaluated during 1985 and 1986 for the development of complete atrioventricular (AV) block after coronary artery bypass grafting. Cold (4 degrees) asanguineous potassium cardioplegia with temperature monitoring was used uniformly. AV block developed in 56 instances (16%). In 32 patients (group 1) the block was transient (less than 6 hours) and in 24 it was persistent (group 2). Left main coronary artery stenosis in conjunction with total obstruction of a dominant right coronary artery occurred more commonly in patients manifesting AV block (18 of 56, 32%) than in those without it (35 of 292, 12%) (p less than 0.05). Complete occlusion of a dominant right coronary artery was observed with equal frequency in patients with and without AV block. The presence of an ungraftable right coronary artery, however, was significantly more frequent in the AV block group: 16 of 37 (47%) vs 6 of 194 (3%) (p less than 0.01). Endarterectomy of the right coronary artery was performed in 8 of 24 patients (33%) with persistent AV block versus none in the patients with transient AV block (n = 32) or normal sinus rhythm postoperatively (n = 292) (p less than 0.0001). Persistent AV block (greater than 6 hours) was associated with myocardial infarction in 6 patients (25%) (p less than 0.05) and with low cardiac output in 18 patients (75%) (p less than 0.0001). In conclusion, AV block after myocardial revascularization was frequently associated with the presence of multivessel coronary disease and an ungraftable dominant right coronary artery. Persistent (greater than 6 hours) AV block was correlated with both perioperative myocardial infarction and low cardiac output.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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