Complete Heart Block

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

Heart block is when the electrical signals in the heart are disrupted when they go from the upper chambers to the lower chambers which can lead to disturbances in the heart rate or rhythm. There are levels to the severity of heart block and they start from a delay in the electrical signal to a complete blockage of the signal that tells the heart to contract

Causes:

Heart block can occur at any age, but it can be more frequently seen in aging patients. While the exact cause of heart block is usually unknown, certain medications can cause mild forms of heart block and certain diseases can lead to heart block as well. Some of these medications and diseases include

  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Adenosine
  • Endocarditis
  • Myocarditis
  • Lyme disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack

Symptoms:

Symptoms to heart block vary depending on the severity of the heart block. People with heart block will experience the following symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Skipped heartbeats
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose heart block by using imaging tests to diagnose the condition. Heart block is unpredictable which makes it hard to diagnose, but with the patient’s symptoms and the patient’s imaging test, heart block can be diagnosed. Listed below are imaging tests the doctor may have performed to diagnose heart block

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter monitor

Treatments:

Heart block can sometimes resolve itself naturally depending on the severity, however in most cases heart block be treated through the treatment of another heart condition. Medication may be given as a short-term solution.

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