Diagnostic and prognostic value of intracardiac electrophysiological studies. Ten years of experience

D. Gann, P. Samet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ten years ago a clincial method of recording the electrical activity of the His bundle in man with transvenously inserted electrodes was described. His bundle recording has permitted the breakdown of the P-R interval into three conduction intervals, i.e., intraatrial (P-A), A-V nodal (A-H), and His-Purkinje system (H-V). His bundle studies have demonstrated our inability to accurately predict from the surface electrocardiogram the exact location of most A-V blocks. First- and second-degree A-V block can occur in the atrium, A-V node or His-Purkinje system, and third-degree A-V block in the A-V node or His-Purkinje system. However, Mobitz type II block almost always occurs below the A-V node. Intraventricular conduction defects, especially of the so called bifascicular block, have a high incidience of H-V time prolongation, indicating additional disease of the third fascicle or the main His bundle. The prognostic value of a prolonged H-V time in patients with and without chronic conduction defects remains controversial, with some agreement that patients with unexplained syncope or dizziness, normal sinus rhythm and 1:1 conduction, who show prolonged H-V times, should probably be paced permanently. No long-term studies exist regarding the value of the H-V time in predicting death or A-V block in patients with conduction defects secondary to acute myocardial infarction, congenital heart disease or after cardiac surgery. Electrophysiological studies have been extremely useful in the diagnosis and management of patients with accessory pathways and in the evaluation of ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias. The most valuable test in diagnosing sinus node dysfunction is the sinus node recovery time. A clearly abnormal test in a patient with unexplained syncope or dizziness predicts an almost one hundred per cent relief symptoms with permanent pacing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-860
Number of pages22
JournalClinical Respiratory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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