What is a left bundle branch block?

What is a left bundle branch block?

DEAR DOCTOR:
I recently had an ECG that showed that I have a “left bundle branch block.” What does this mean?
DEAR READER:
When your heart beats, it does so in response to electrical signals. Your heart muscle is crisscrossed by a network of electrical pathways. A bundle branch block is caused by an abnormality in one of those pathways.
The electrical signals that orchestrate each heartbeat work this way. A small group of cells called the sinoatrial (SA) node generates an electrical impulse. The signal travels on pathways through the walls of the upper chambers (the atria), then forks into two separate channels and continues down the inside walls of the lower chambers (the ventricles).
The pathway that leads to the left ventricle is called the left bundle branch. The left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The pathway that leads to the right ventricle is called the right bundle branch. The right ventricle pumps oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and then enters the left ventricle.
The signals coming down the left and right bundle branches tell the left and right ventricles to “pump now!”
The electrical impulse must travel down the right and left bundle branches at the same speed for the ventricles to contract at about the same time. A block in either branch slows the signal, delaying the heart muscle’s response. I’ve put an illustration of this process below:
What causes bundle branch block?
The sinoatrial (SA) node sends electrical impulses through the walls of the upper chambers. The signal forks just below the atrioventricular (AV) node and continues to the heart’s lower chambers. The impulse must travel down the right and left bundle branches at the same speed for the ventricles to contract at approximately the same time. A block in either branch will slow the signal, which delays the heart muscle’s response.

My colleague Dr. Peter Zimetbaum is a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He explains that a right bundle branch block is harmless. But a left bundle branch block may signal high blood pressure, thickening or stretching of the heart wall, coronary artery disease or simply advancing age.
When a left bundle branch block appears on an ECG, the next step is usually an echocardiogram. This noninvasive imaging test shows whether the heart structure looks normal. If it does, treatment might entail more aggressive blood pressure control.
Some people with a left bundle branch block eventually need a pacemaker. But most people can function normally without one.
One exception is people who also have a weakened heart muscle associated with advanced heart failure. Individuals in this group may be good candidates for an implanted pacemaker-like device with an added wire to stimulate the left ventricle. This device can coordinate the timing of the contractions on the left and right sides of the heart. This enables the heart to pump more efficiently.
Try not to be overly anxious about your diagnosis of left bundle branch block. Most of my patients with this condition have not seen the condition progress. But do get yearly checkups that include an ECG. And be on the lookout for troublesome symptoms, including shortness of breath, lagging energy or trouble exercising. Such symptoms could be a sign of one of the treatable medical conditions, like heart failure, that is sometimes found in people with left bundle branch block more  

827___20141208101553___.jpg
View all 9 comments Below 9 comments
Dr Saab, very helpful more  
Thank You Sir Raja more  
THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR APPRECIATING MY POST. BEST REGARDS TO YOU ALL. more  
Great input for we all to understand
Keep up the good work of informing us
Wish you a long & healthy life more  
Thanks Raja Sahib. more  
Post a Comment

Related Posts

    • Secrets of Longevity

      Whales have heart rates @2/minute while in water and it's up by 4 while out of water,while hunting. Humans have heart rates between 60-80 and athletic people or others who believe in reg...

      By Dr. Neelam Nath
      /
    • Healthy cholesterol

      Can we run our vehicle without good oil? Why do we get our vehicles serviced, get filter & oil changed after driving few thousands of Kilometers? Cholesterol is a type of fat found i...

      By Neelam Nath
      /
    • Alkaline diet

      If you are in your 30s or know someone who is in their 30s, then it is important to understand that alkaline diet hams none and helps everyone without being a burden on the pocket. Dr Otto Warburg,...

      By Neelam Nath
      /
    • Foods as blood thinners

      Foods As Blood Thinners Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia Dr. Neelam Nath BhatiaGeneral Physician 9 September, 2019 Cardiac patients are given blood thinners so that bloo...

      By Neelam Nath
      /
    • Chelation therapy

      is Chelation therapy advisable for reducing blocks

      By Swarnalatha Marjee
      /
    • BP fluctuation during day

      How does blood pressure fluctuate during the day? Is it quite high before lunch. Experts please advise.

      By Sneha Goyal
      /
    • Erroneously high BP measurement mistakes

      AHA lists 7 common mistakes leading to erroneously high BP measurement . 1 .Having a full bladder can add 10-15 points to your reading. 2 .Slouching, unsupported back or feet....

      By Sneha Goyal
      /
    • Hypertension

      Hypertension is a systolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140mm of Hg or diastolic pressure equal to or greater then 90 mm of hg. Features of Hypertension: 1. Headach...

      By Pritam Sharma
      /
    • 101 year old cardiologist

      India's first lady Cardiologist, Dr. Padmawati Sivaramakrishna Iyer turned 101yrs on 20th June 2018. She is director of the National Heart Institute, Delhi and the founder president of the A...

      By Sneha Goyal
      /
    • Good evening friends

      4 Nuts That Cut Your Heart Disease Risk. Recently, I set up an experiment in a grocery store. I placed four nut mixes on a shelf. Each was labeled differently. One promoted men’s h...

      By Dr.(Mrs.)Chandra Kanta Gosain
      /
    • KNOW YOUR HEART

      25 Facts About THE Heart that WILL Leave you Stunned. Here are 25 facts you may not have known about your incredible heart ~ Every day you are alive, your heart creates enough...

      By Dr.(Mrs.)Chandra Kanta Gosain
      /
Share
Enter your email & mobile number and we will send you the instructions

Note - The email can sometime gets delivered to the spam folder, so the instruction will be send to your mobile as well

Please select a Circle that you want people to invite to.
Invite to
(Maximum 500 email ids allowed.)