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Complete Right Bundle Branch Block: Transmission Of The Electrical Impulse Is Delayed Or Fails To Conduct Along The Right Branch Of The His Bundle, Blocking Flow To The Right Ventricle Of The Heart. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Bundle Branch Block. What about it?

When the electrical signals start at the sinoatrial node – a specialised group of cells in the right atrium that act as pacemakers, they move from the right to the left atrium. They then move through the atrioventricular node to the bundle of His to the bundle branches. Bundle branches carry electrical signals to the left and right sides of the ventricles (lower heart chambers). The electrical signals along the right and left bundle branches cause the right and left ventricle contract. However, in a few instances, such signals fail to propagate to the entire ventricle. It can happen when a blockade occurs at any point along the left or right bundle branch. We call this a bundle branch block.

A bundle branch block (BBB) is a delay of transmission of the electrical signals from the atria to the ventricles. 

Atrial fibrillation. You might want to check your heart.

The signals get blocked after passing through the bundle of His. The blockade can occur either in the right or left bundle branches. The delay in electrical transmission across the ventricles implies that they will contract later following atrial contraction. It is noteworthy that we cannot prevent bundle branch blocks from happening.

Bundle Branch Block. What about it?
Right Bundle-Branch Block, Ecg, Complete Right Bundle Branch Block, Transmission Of The Electrical Impulse Is Delayed Or Fails To Conduct Along The Right Branch Of The His Bundle, Blocking Flow To The Right Ventricle Of The Heart. (Photo By BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

We cannot delineate a cause in about 50% of patients with bundle branch block. However, any damage to the heart muscle can cause it. Such damage may emanate from myocardial infarction, myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy, or rheumatic fever. Still, the defect that predisposes you to a bundle branch block may have been present at birth.

Structural heart diseases are preventable, for the most part.

It’s noteworthy that most patients with bundle branch block report no symptoms. However, the symptomatic may complain of dizziness, chest pain, fainting, or clinical features of stroke.

BBB is diagnosed with electrocardiography.

Bundle Branch Block. What about it?
Incomplete BBB: Transmission Of The Electrical Impulse Is Delayed Or Fails To Conduct Along with The Right Or Left Branch Of The His Bundle, Blocking Flow To The Ventricles Of The Heart. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

In the absence of symptoms, people with BBB without heart disease require no treatment. They can exercise as tolerated and ensure a healthy lifestyle. In the presence of symptoms, a pacemaker can be a viable solution.

When you have a bundle branch block, you should avoid magnetic or ultrasonic forces. Do not fly any aircraft unless the laws in your region allow you to do so. Take medicines as prescribed. 

Eat a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet. Stop smoking and exercise regularly. If you develop dizziness, chest pain, or faintness, call your doctor immediately. Do not ignore any worsening symptoms.

For more information about this topic, read here. You can get yourself a copy of Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor 3rd edition to read more about your heart.

 

IAmDrSsekandi

Dr A. M. Ssekandi is a medical officer, researcher, content creator, author, and founder of ssekandima.com. He does private practice with a public touch. He is a certified digital marketer. He has earned certificates in Understanding Clinical Research and Writing in Sciences from the University of Cape Town and Stanford University respectively. He also has a certificate of Good Clinical Practice from https://gcp.nidatraining.org/

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