Atrioventricular Block

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Atrioventricular block is when the electrical signals from the heart’s upper chambers are delayed or stopped from going on its way to the lower chambers which can result in a slower heart rate. It is possible to experience mild atrioventricular block during intensive exercise, but it is more likely to happen in older patients.


Atrioventricular block can caused by the following

  • Fibrosis which blocks the signals from the upper heart to the lower heart due to the extra tissue that thickens the electrical pathways
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Certain medication like blood pressure medication that slow the heartbeat
  • Illnesses like rheumatic fever, lupus, or Lyme disease


Symptoms that come with atrioventricular block depend on the severity of the block. Some of the symptoms include

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose atrioventricular block by using imaging tests to diagnose the heart condition. Listed below are imaging tests the doctor may have performed on the patient to properly diagnose atrioventricular block

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Holter monitor


The treatment of atrioventricular block will vary based on the severity of the atrioventricular block. Treatment methods the doctor may suggest include

  • Pacemaker
  • Change of medication