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Aust N Z J Med. 1988 Dec;18(7):841-7.

Clinical implications of electrophysiology study findings in patients with chronic bifascicular block and syncope.

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Department of Medicine, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia.


Electrophysiology study was performed in 93 patients with bifascicular block and unexplained syncope. Clinical evidence of organic heart disease was present in 33 (35%). Electrophysiological abnormalities were detected in 45 patients (48%). Of these, 36 had distal conduction disease, including 28 with an HV interval greater than 55 ms (mean 76.4 ms), and eight who developed infraHisian block following either intravenous procainamide (four) or atrial pacing (four). Sick sinus syndrome was evident in six patients and a further two had carotid sinus hypersensitivity. Sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) was induced in only three patients, two of whom also had prolonged HV interval. Among the 93 patients, 45 had therapy which was guided by positive findings at electrophysiology study (Group 1). Of these, 42 received permanent pacemakers, two were treated with combined permanent pacing and antiarrhythmic drug therapy, and one was treated with antiarrhythmic drug alone. In addition, eight patients without electrophysiologic abnormalities were treated empirically by pacing (Group 2). Finally, 40 patients without electrophysiologic abnormalities received no specific therapy (group 3). At a mean follow-up of 39 months (range two-125 months), recurrence of syncope had occurred in 4% of Group 1 patients, and 25% of Group 3 patients (p less than 0.05). No patient in Group 2 had had recurrence. Total mortality was 40%, including 47% of patients in Group 1, 25% of Group 2, and 35% of Group 3. Death was sudden in seven patients. We concluded that among patients with bifascicular block and syncope, therapy directed by findings at electrophysiology study was associated with symptomatic improvement, but mortality was not significantly influenced.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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