His bundle electrograms were recorded in 308 adults with chronic bundle branch block. The A-H interval was normal in 249 patients and prolonged in 59. Comparison of patients with normal and prolonged A-H intervals revealed a greater incidence of demonstrable organic heart disease in the latter (P < 0.01). Dyspnea, cardiomegaly and congestive heart failure were more frequent in patients with A-H prolongation. These patients also had longer P-R intervals and atrioventricular (A-V) nodal effective refractory periods, lower paced rates producing second degree A-V block proximal to the His bundle and a greater frequency of H-V prolongation. All patients were prospectively followed up in a conduction disease clinic with mean follow-up periods (± standard error of the mean) of 523 ± 23 and 588 ± 47 days in the patients with normal and prolonged A-H intervals, respectively. Seven (3 percent) of the patients with a normal A-H interval had A-V block with probable or definite site of block proximal to the His bundle in three and distal to the His bundle in four. In five of the six patients with a prolonged A-H interval who experienced A-V block (10 percent), the probable or definite site of block was proximal to the His bundle. Mortality (both sudden and nonsudden) was not significantly different in the patients with normal and prolonged A-H intervals. In summary, A-H prolongation was associated with increased incidence of organic heart disease and myocardial dysfunction. The risk of development of A-V nodal block was greater in patients with a prolonged A-H interval but appeared to be of minimal clinical significance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine