What is it?

The electrical conduction system of the heart transmits signals generated usually by the sinoatrial node (SA node, the native pacemaker of the heart), to cause contraction of the heart muscle. The signal generated in the SA node travels from the atria to the ventricles, and stimulates contraction first to the right and left atrium, and then the right and left ventricles. This process allows blood to be pumped throughout the body.
Conduction disorders is a bunch of conditions in which there is a problem with the transmission of the electrical signal. Some conditions are totally benign while others may have serious consequences. Conduction disorders may be caused by certain medications ,as a result of a heart attack or another heart disease, a genetic condition, electrolyte abnormalities, autoimmune diseases, certain infections and more. The cause may also be unknown.
Main types of conduction disorders include:
* Atrioventricular block (AV block) – the electrical signal is either delayed (1st or 2nd degree AV block) or completely blocked (3rd degree AV block) somewhere between the atria and the ventricles. When the signal is completely blocked, the ventricles produce their own electrical signal to control the heart rate. The heart rate produced by the ventricles is much slower than that produced by the native pacemaker, the SA node.
* Left Bundle Branch Block (LBBB) - in this condition, activation of the left ventricle of the heart is delayed.
* Right Bundle Branch Block (RBBB) - in this condition, activation of the right ventricle of the heart is delayed
* Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) – a condition in which there is another electrical pathway between the atria and the ventricles, in addition to the regular pathway, what may lead to an arrhythmia and fast heart rate.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome
- Mobitz II Atrioventricular Block
- First Degree Atrioventricular Block
- Right Bundle Branch Block
- Second Degree Atrioventricular Block
- Second degree av block
- Left Bundle Branch Block

Signs & symptoms

many conduction disorders have no symptoms at all. However, some of them may cause your heart to beat too slow to supply your body needs, which may cause:
* lightheadedness and fainting
* shortness of breath
* tiring easily
* chest pain
your heart rate may also be very fast with a pounding sensation (palpitations), such as in WPW that caused an arrhythmia.


Conduction disorders are usually diagnosed with an EKG test, that measures the electrical activity of your heart.
Your doctor may also perform some blood tests to look for something that may have caused your disorder, or perform additional tests to evaluate your heart such as an Echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of your heart.


Some conduction disorders are benign and requires no treatment, while others do. Treatment will depend on the type of the disorder, its severity and whether it causes symptoms or not.
If your conduction disorder is found to be caused by a reversible condition (such as electrolyte abnormalities), the underlying condition should first be treated.
Other cases may require implantation of a pacemaker during a minor surgery.
people with WPW may require anti-arrhythmic drugs.

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

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