Inadvertent catheter-induced right bundle branch block in a patient with preexistent left bundle branch block and recurrent macroreentrant ventricular tachycardia

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1989 Dec;12(12):1857-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8159.1989.tb01876.x.


This article describes the inadvertent, catheter-induced induction of right bundle branch block resulting not only in transient complete infra-His heart block but also in temporary interruption of the macroreentry circuit of ventricular tachycardia. A patient with preexistent left bundle branch block and spontaneous ventricular tachycardia based upon the bundle branch reentry mechanism underwent electrophysiological testing for the evaluation of sotalol drug efficacy. In search of an optimal His-bundle recording, the manipulation of a 6 Fr quadripolar catheter caused a right bundle branch block, thus advancing the preexistent left bundle branch block to complete heart block. Retrograde ventriculoatrial conduction remained unaffected. The macroreentrant tachycardia with left bundle branch block configuration was no longer inducible. While the patient continued on unchanged sotalol medication (320 mg/d) he required temporary pacing for 16 hours until the block subsided. A subsequent induction attempt demonstrated initiation of the tachycardia. Finally, guided by invasive testing, the patient successfully received amiodarone therapy (300 mg/d). The patient completed an uneventful follow up of 27 months. No progression of conduction delay was observed. This case suggests that the inadvertent induction of right bundle branch block prevents the initiation of ventricular tachycardias relying on bundle branch reentry. Therefore, missed diagnosis or misinterpretation of antiarrhythmic drug efficacy might occur if there is no electrophysiological reevaluation after right bundle branch recovery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amiodarone / therapeutic use
  • Bundle-Branch Block / drug therapy
  • Bundle-Branch Block / etiology*
  • Bundle-Branch Block / physiopathology
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Sotalol / therapeutic use
  • Tachycardia / drug therapy
  • Tachycardia / physiopathology*


  • Sotalol
  • Amiodarone