Introduction: The clinical, electrophysiologic features and follow-up of 48 patients with inducible bundle branch reentrant (BBR) tachycardia are presented.
Methods and results: Forty-eight patients were identified in whom a diagnosis of BBR tachycardia was made during electrophysiologic evaluation. The clinical presentation was syncope or sudden death in 38 patients, and sustained palpitations during wide QRS complex tachycardia in 5 patients. Electrophysiologic studies were performed in 5 additional patients for various other reasons. Structural heart disease was present in 45 patients. Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease were the anatomical substrates in 19 (39%) and 24 (50%) patients, respectively, severe aortic regurgitation was present in 2 patients, and no organic heart disease was identified in 3. All 48 patients had evidence of His-Purkinje system disease. BBR tachycardia with left and right bundle branch block morphologies was induced in 46 and 5 patients, respectively, and interfascicular BBR tachycardia was initiated in 2 patients. Ventricular tachycardia of a myocardial origin was induced in 11 patients. Management of BBR tachycardia included transcatheter bundle branch ablation in 28 patients, and antiarrhythmic drug therapy in 16 patients. Four patients were treated with implantable defibrillators. After a mean follow-up of 15.8 months in 42 patients, there were 13 deaths due to congestive heart failure, 4 sudden cardiac deaths, 3 nonsudden cardiac deaths, and 3 noncardiac related deaths.
Conclusion: Sustained BBR, a form of monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, is a highly malignant arrhythmia usually seen in patients with structural heart disease. Three different types of BBR tachycardia are described. If distinguished from ventricular tachycardia of a myocardial origin, catheter ablation of the right bundle branch can be easily performed and effectively eliminates BBR. During follow-up, congestive heart failure is the most common cause of death in this population.