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Sinus Tachycardia With High-grade AV Block

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 14:34 -- Dawn

This ECG has always caused a lively conversation in ECG classes, both beginner classes and advanced. There is an obvious underlying sinus tachycardia, with clear P waves.

Some propose that the ECG shows a second-degree AVB, Type II, in that the PR intervals are constant, or nearly so. There is a slight discrepency if you compare the first PRI with the others. The QRS complexes, while very slow, have a pattern of right bundle branch block with left anterior fascicular block - not an unlikely finding in second-degree AV block, Type II, since that is a block in the fascicles of the interventricular conduction system. Type II blocks usually are accompanied by signs of bundle branch dysfunction.

Others strongly believe this is a third-degree, or complete, heart block. They argue that the PR intervals are not identical, and propose that a longer strip would uncover the discrepency. The wide QRS complexes have a strong left axis deviation, which could support the argument for idioventricular escape rhythm.

What do you think? Please comment below.

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Comments

Submitted by Dawn on

Yes.  I like that better.  For years, many ECG scholars have tried to get away from the "degrees" classification.  The treatment is the same for high-grade blocks, whether they be "second" or "third" degree.  Thanks.

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