What is it?

Atrioventricular Block, or an AV block is when there is a problem in the electrical signaling of the heart that goes through the atria to the ventricles. These signals pass through a bundle of cells called the AV node. In AV block, the signals do not pass to the AV node, resulting in dysfunction of the heart- skipping beats, slower heart rate and ledd blood is pumped out. There are three types of AV block; In first degree AV block , which is the mildest type, the heart beats slower. Second degree AV block is divided into two categories- type 1 and type 2. In type 1, the electrical signals get slower until the heart skips a bit. In type 2, some signals do not reach the ventricle, causing irregular pulse. In the third degree AV block, the signaling is completely blocked, and the ventricle becomes the heart pacemaker. AV block may lead to heart failure, arrhythmia, heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of heart block include faiting, dizzined, chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, palpitations, rapid breathing, and nausea. Some people with first degree AV block will not suffer any symptoms.


Diagnosis of AV block is based upon findings from physical examination, medical history and tests such as ECG, loop recorder, and electrophysiology study.


Treatment depends on the type of AV block, its location and severity and may include a pacemaker.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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