To determine the incidence and significance of transient intraventricular conduction abnormalities occurring in association with myocardial ischemia during exercise testing, the recordings of 2,200 consecutive exercise tests were reviewed. Ten patients (0.45%) were identified as having both ischemia and intraventricular conduction abnormalities that developed transiently during the exercise test. In all 10 patients both typical angina and electrocardiographic evidence of ischemia developed during exercise. Among the 10 patients, left anterior hemiblock developed in 4, left posterior hemiblock in 2, right bundle branch block (RBBB) in 2, RBBB with left axis deviation in 1, and left anterior hemiblock progressing to complete left bundle branch block (LBBB) in 1. All 10 patients had cardiac catheterization showing significant obstruction of the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery at or before the origin of the first septal branch. Eight patients were treated surgically and 2 medically, all with relief of ischemic symptoms. Nine of the 10 had repeat exercise stress testing without angina or electrocardiographic evidence of ischemia and without recurrence of the transient intraventricular conduction disturbance. It is concluded that the development of transient intraventricular conduction abnormalities associated with myocardial ischemia during exercise testing is an uncommon occurrence (0.45%). When such conduction disturbances do develop, the existence of significant disease in the proximal portion of the LAD coronary artery is strongly suggested. With control of myocardial ischemia, the transient conduction disturbances during exercise are ameliorated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine