Bundle Branch Block

Does your heart have an electrical problem?

Your heart sends out electrical impulses to signal each beat. Sometimes the pathway through the heart gets obstructed at the left or right “bundle branches,” or sometimes both. When this happens, the electrical impulse is slowed as it seeks another route to the heart’s lower chambers. This can cause your heart to beat abnormally and work harder to pump blood efficiently. Often, there are no symptoms of bundle branch block. In fact, some people have the condition for years and never know it.

Why worry about bundle branch block? It may be a warning of other heart conditions.

Causes of bundle branch block depend on which bundle is affected. Left branch blockages may be caused by heart disease, cardiomyopathy, myocarditis or hypertension. Right branch blockages may result from a congenital heart defect, myocardial infarction, myocarditis, hypertension or pulmonary embolism. People most likely to be affected by a bundle branch block are older and have high blood pressure or heart disease. While there is no specific treatment for the condition, any underlying health conditions will need to be addressed.

Symptoms may include:
• Fainting (syncope)
• Feeling as if you’re going to faint (pre-syncope)
• Chronic fatigue
• Heart palpitations
• No symptoms

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