Alternating bundle branch block

Frank L. Gold, Arthur H.L. From

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mechanisms postulated for alternating bundle branch block are incomplete-and cycle-length-dependent-block in both the right and left bundle branches. A patient with severe longstanding cardiac conduction disease who developed alternating bundle branch block during treatment for advanced ischemic heart disease and malignant ventricular arrhythmia is presented. In this patient alternation was induced by atrial premature beats as well as spontaneous and pacemaker induced premature ventricular beats. Right bundle branch block which followed a premature atrial beat resulted from the longer refractory period of the right bundle. The maintenance of right bundle branch block at long cycle lengths was presumed to be due to continuous retrograde reentry. This was terminated when a pause following a premature beat allowed functional recovery of the right bundle branch. This patient died suddenly at home with a functioning pacemaker, demonstrating the high risk of death from ventricular dysrhythmia in the post myocardial infarction patient with a new conduction defect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-407
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1980

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