Bifascicular Block: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis
What is Bifascicular Block?
Bifascicular Block is a cardiac condition of a chronic nature in which the two bundles of vascular tissues controlling the heart start to malfunction and do not send appropriate signal as a result of which the heart does not get adequate electrical signals causing irregular heartbeats. There are three main fascicules present in the heart which are the right bundle fascicule, the left anterior fascicule, and the left posterior fascicule. Bifascicular Block develops due to at least two of these pathways getting affected.
What Causes Bifascicular Block?
Bifascicular Block normally is congenital in nature and is present at birth and this condition may not be diagnosed for quite a number of years in some individuals whereas in some cases this block is caused due to a cardiac condition like a heart attack or after a surgical procedure to the heart. There are certain classes of medications which have heart blocks in their side effect profile but this condition is found mostly in people with other cardiac conditions like congestive heart failure and the like. Conditions like hypertension or blood clots can also contribute to Bifascicular Block as well.
What are the Symptoms of Bifascicular Block?
As stated, Bifascicular Block may make it tough for the heart to transport sufficient amount of blood to the parts of the body. In most of the cases this condition is asymptomatic but in some cases the affected individual may have dizziness, syncopal events, chest pain with shortness of breath. There may also be presence of bradycardia as well. Bifascicular Block is a potentially serious medical condition and may cause a variety of complications especially if the affected individual has other cardiac problems as well as it may result in cardiac arrest. People with Bifascicular Block are more prone to heavy damage due to a heart attack than a normal individual. These individuals are given alarm bracelet in case of cardiac emergencies.
How is Bifascicular Block Diagnosed?
If the treating physician suspects Bifascicular Block then the physician may order an echocardiogram to monitor the functioning of the heart. This condition can also be found incidentally when the physician is examining the patient for some other condition. An ECG may then be done to find out if the heart is beating in a normal fashion or whether there is some abnormality. By these studies the physician will be able to formulate a treatment plan best suited for the patient.
How is Bifascicular Block Treated?
In majority of the cases Bifascicular Block is not treated but very closely observed. The associated conditions of Bifascicular Block may be treated with appropriate medications and other measures. In case the patient has a history of syncopal events along with Bifascicular Block then the patient may be implanted with a pacemaker to control the rate and rhythm so that any complications may be avoided due to Bifascicular Block.