Association between new-onset right bundle branch block and primary or secondary ventricular fibrillation in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care. 2021 Oct 27;10(8):918-925. doi: 10.1093/ehjacc/zuab026.


Aims: New-onset right bundle branch block (RBBB) in myocardial infarction (MI) is often associated with ventricular fibrillation (VF) but the nature of this relationship has not been determined.

Methods and results: Between 1998 and 2014, among other data, incidence and duration of RBBB and VF occurrence were prospectively collected in 5301 patients with ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI) admitted to two University Hospitals in Murcia (Spain). Multinomial adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between RBBB, attending to its duration, and VF according to its primary VF (PVF) or secondary VF (SVF) character. Among 284 (5.4%) patients with new-onset RBBB, 158 were transient and 126 permanent. VF occurred in 339 (6.4%) patients, 201 PVF and 138 SVF, documented within the first 2 h of symptoms-onset in 78% and 60%, respectively. New-onset RBBB was more frequent in PVF (11.4%) and SVF (20.3%), than in non-VF (4.7%). Transient RBBB incidence was higher in PVF (9.0%) and SVF (9.4) than in non-VF (2.6%), whereas permanent RBBB was higher in SVF (10.9%) than PVF (2.5%) and non-VF (2.1%). New-onset RBBB 1.83 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07-3.11] and new-onset transient RBBB 2.39 (95% CI: 1.32-4.32) were independently associated with PVF. New-onset 3.03 (95% CI: 1.83-5.02), transient 2.40 (95% CI: 1.27-4.55), and permanent 2.99 (95% CI: 1.52-5.86) RBBB were independently associated with SVF.

Conclusion: New-onset RBBB and VF in STEMI are independently associated and show particularities based on the duration of the conduction disturbance and/or the primary or secondary character of the arrhythmia.

Keywords: Acute myocardial infarction; Bundle branch block; Right bundle branch block; Ventricular fibrillation.

MeSH terms

  • Bundle-Branch Block / complications
  • Bundle-Branch Block / diagnosis
  • Bundle-Branch Block / epidemiology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction* / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction* / epidemiology
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction* / complications
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction* / diagnosis
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction* / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / etiology