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Am J Cardiol. 1987 Apr 1;59(8):817-23.

Role of invasive electrophysiologic testing in patients with symptomatic bundle branch block.


Electrophysiologic testing was performed in 112 symptomatic patients with bundle branch block. Abnormalities included HV interval 70 ms or longer (35 patients), infra-Hisian block with atrial pacing (6 patients) and sinus node dysfunction (23 patients). Inducible ventricular tachycardia occurred in 47 patients (42%). Therapy was based on the electrophysiologic test result: group I--16 patients with no therapy (normal study results); group II--34 patients with permanent pacing alone; group III--39 patients with antiarrhythmic therapy alone; and group IV--21 patients with both antiarrhythmic therapy and permanent pacing. Cumulative 4-year survival rates were 83% in group I, 84% in group II, 63% in group III and 84% in group IV (mean follow-up 2.5 years). Recurrent syncope occurred in 19% of group I, 6% of group II, 33% of group III and 19% of group IV. In symptomatic patients with bundle branch block and normal electrophysiologic test results, prognosis is good without treatment. In patients undergoing permanent pacing based on electrophysiologic testing, survival is good and rate of symptom recurrence is low. Electrophysiologic testing identifies patients with inducible ventricular tachycardia for whom antiarrhythmic therapy is indicated but who nevertheless have a poor prognosis.

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