Author + information
- Received March 2, 1987
- Revision received June 29, 1987
- Accepted August 20, 1987
- Published online January 1, 1988.
- ↵∗Address for reprints: Beat Friedli, MD, Unité de Cardiologie Pediatrique, Clinique de Pédiatrie, Hôpital Cantonal Universitaire, 1211 Geneve 4, Switzerland.
Late complete heart block may occur after correction of tetralogy of Fallot. Whether postoperative electrophysiologic studies can identify patients at risk of developing this conduction disturbance is unknown. In this study, 57 children who underwent electrophysiologic investigation after correction of tetralogy of Fallot were followed up for 1 to 13 (mean 6.5) years after the investigation.
One late death and two cases of late complete heart block occurred. The late death was due to ventricular arrhythmia and not to a conduction disturbance. The cases of late heart block occurred 2 and 5 years, respectively, after electrophysiologic study, and in both cases the patient had a prolonged HV interval; in one patient progressive lengthening of the HV interval could be demonstrated at two subsequent studies 1 year apart. Another five patients with a prolonged HV interval had normally conducted sinus rhythm up to 11 years after study. Atrial pacing at increasing rates (up to the occurrence of second degree atrioventricular block) during electrophysiologic study was the best means of predicting late heart block: of three patients with block below the bundle of His occurring at pacing rates <180/min, two developed late complete heart block.
Thus, electrophysiologic testing of the conduction system after correction of tetralogy of Fallot is useful in predicting late complete heart block and should be performed in patients with a history of transient heart block after surgery and in those with a prolonged PR interval.
- Received March 2, 1987.
- Revision received June 29, 1987.
- Accepted August 20, 1987.