Narrow complex tachycardia with VA block: Diagnostic and therapeutic implications

Mohamed H. Hamdan, Jonathan M. Kalman, Michael D. Lesh, Randall J. Lee, Leslie A. Saxon, Parvin Dorostkar, Melvin M. Scheinman

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50 Scopus citations


To review our experience with cases of narrow complex tachycardia with VA block, highlighting the difficulties in the differential diagnosis, and the therapeutic implications. Prior reports of patients with narrow complex tachycardia with VA block consist of isolated case reports. The differential diagnosis of this disorder includes: automatic junctional tachycardia, AV nodal reentry with final upper common pathway block, concealed nodofascicular (ventricular) pathway, and intra-Hissian reentry. Between June 1994 and January 1996, six patients with narrow complex tachycardia with episodes of ventriculoatrial block were referred for evaluation. All six patients underwent attempted radiofrequency ablation of the putative arrhythmic site. Three of six patients had evidence suggestive of a nodofascicular tract. Intermittent antegrade conduction over a left-sided nodofascicular tract was present in two patients and the diagnosis of a concealed nodofascicular was made in the third patient after ruling out other tachycardia mechanisms. Two patients had automatic junctional tachycardia, and one patient had atroventricular nodal reentry with proximal common pathway block. Attempted ablation in the posterior and mid-septum was unsuccessful in patients with nodofascicular tachycardia. In contrast, those with atrioventricular nodal reentry and automatic junctional tachycardia readily responded to ablation. The presence of a nodofascicular tachycardia should be suspected if: (1) intermittent antegrade preexcitation is recorded, (2) the tachycardia can be initiated with a single atrial premature producing two ventricular complexes, and (3) a single ventricular extrastimulus initiates SVT without a retrograde His deflection. The presence era nodofascicular pathway is common in patients with narrow complex tachycardia and VA block. Unlike A V nodal reentry and automatic junctional tachycardia, the response to ablation is poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1196-1206
Number of pages11
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 23 1998


  • Narrow complex tachycardia
  • Nodofascicular tract
  • VA block


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