The records of 2,584 consecutive patients who underwent both treadmill exercise testing and coronary cineangiography were reviewed to determine the relation between exercise-induced, acceleration-dependent left bundle branch block (LBBB) and the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD). Rate-dependent LBBB during exercise was identified in 28 patients (1.1%), who were categorized according to their presenting symptoms: classic angina pectoris, atypical chest pain, symptomatic cardiac arrhythmia and asymptomatic. Asymptomatic patients underwent a screening exercise test. CAD was present in 7 of 10 patients who presented with classic angina pectoris, but 12 of 13 patients presenting with atypical chest pain had normal coronary arteries. All 10 patients in whom LBBB developed at a heart rate of 125 beats/min or higher were free of CAD, whereas 9 of 18 patients in whom LBBB developed at a heart rate of less than 125 beats/min had CAD. Normal coronary arteries were present in 3 patients who presented with angina and in whom both chest pain and LBBB developed during exercise. It is concluded that (1) patients who present with atypical chest pain in whom rate-dependent LBBB develops on the treadmill are significantly less likely to have CAD than patients who present with classic angina; (2) the onset of LBBB at a heart rate of 125 beats/min or higher is highly correlated with the presence of normal coronary arteries, regardless of patient presentation; and (3) patients with angina in whom both chest pain and LBBB develop during exercise may have normal coronary arteries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine