Conduction Disorders

Updated:Nov 22,2016

Rhythm vs. Conduction
Your heart’s rhythm is its pace or beat. Conduction is the progression of electrical impulses through the heart which cause the heart to beat. You can have a conduction disorder without having an arrhythmia, but some arrhythmias arise from conduction disorders.

Common conduction disorders include:

How it works

  • Normally, the electrical impulse travels down both the right and left branches of the conduction system in the ventricles at the same speed. Thus, both ventricles contract at the same time.
  • Occasionally there's a block in one of the branches, so impulses must travel to the affected side by a detour that slows them down. That means one ventricle contracts a fraction of a second slower than the other.
Symptoms and diagnosis
If there's nothing else wrong,usually a person with bundle branch block shows no symptoms. But a bundle branch block shows up as an abnormality when the electrical impulses through the heart are recorded with an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Usually no treatment is required, but your healthcare provider will want to see you regularly to be sure no other changes occur. You may have bundle branch block for many years and still feel fine, but it's important to have regular check-ups.

This content was last reviewed September 2016.

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