Frequency and prognosis of new bundle branch block induced by surgical aortic valve replacement

Thomas T. Poels*, Patrick Houthuizen, Leen A. F. M. Van Garsse, Mohammed A. Soliman Hamad, Jos G. Maessen, Frits W. Prinzen, Albert H. M. Van Straten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Web of Science)


OBJECTIVES: Recently, transcatheter aortic valve implantation has been introduced, but one of its complications is left bundle branch block (LBBB), a conduction disturbance that has been associated with increased mortality. We investigated the incidence and fate of both right bundle branch block (RBBB) and LBBB after aortic valve replacement (AVR) using a retrospective analysis. We also studied the predictive value of both disorders for all-cause mortality. METHODS: All patients who underwent AVR, with or without concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, between 2002 and 2010 in our centre were included. All-cause mortality was compared between patients who did and those who did not develop persistent new bundle branch block (BBB) within 7 days postoperatively. Patients were not eligible if one of their electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings prior to AVR showed a BBB or pacemaker activity. A postoperative period of 3-12 months was used to collect follow-up ECGs. RESULTS: Of the 2279 AVR patients, 2033 patients were eligible for analysis. After excluding patients lacking baseline or follow-up ECG (n = 269), 1764 patients remained for analysis. Early LBBB and RBBB occurred in 71 (4.0%) and 92 (5.2%) patients, respectively. At follow-up, LBBB was persistent in 29 patients (1.6%) and RBBB in 74 patients (4.2%). During a median follow-up of 4.5 (2.4-6.5) years, the mortality rate was 16.3% (n = 271) in patients without BBB, 24.1% (n = 7) in patients with persistent LBBB and 18.9% (n = 14) in patients with persistent RBBB (log-rank P = 0.49). Though, in univariate analysis, the hazard ratio for mortality was 1.54 and 1.10 for LBBB and RBBB, respectively, the small numbers precluded identifying AVR-induced LBBB and RBBB as a predictor of mortality. CONCLUSIONS: In the current practice of AVR, persistent postoperative LBBB and RBBB occur infrequently (similar to 5% of cases), a percentage less than half of that in current transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedures. Given the adverse effects of LBBB, the lower prevalence of procedure-induced LBBB in AVR should be taken into account while deciding which valve replacement procedure is chosen for a patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E47-E53
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Aortic valve
  • Replacement
  • Arrhythmia (any)
  • Statistics
  • Survival analysis

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