Atrioventricular block — causes, side effects and treatments at

Saturday, January 06, 2018 by

Atrioventricular block or heart block is defined as a cardiovascular condition that is characterized by an abnormality in the electrical pathways of the heart. This in turn inhibits the electrical impulse in the heart from performing its functions through normal pathways, thereby resulting in slower heart rate.

An entry posted on the E-Medicine Health website reveals that scarring or fibrosis of the heart’s electrical system caused by aging is the most common risk factor for atrioventricular block. Other risk factors associated with heart block include heart attacks, infection of the heart valves or endocarditis and complication of lyme disease as well as sarcoidosis or hemochromatosis and use of certain medicines such as calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and digoxin.

The article also reveals that the condition can be classified into three types: first-degree, second-degree and complete or third-degree blocks. First-degree AV block occurs when electrical impulses take longer to travel between the upper chamber and the lower chambers of the heart, while second-degree block is characterized by the blockage of some of the electrical impulses between the chambers. A complete or third degree block occurs when all of the electrical impulses between the chambers are completely blocked.

Known side effects of atrioventricular block

Atrioventricular block is notoriously detrimental to the body’s cardiovascular profile. According to a Medical News Today entry, the condition is known to cause arrhythmia, bradycardia, hypotension, and insufficient cardiac contraction. The disorder is also associated with an increased risk of suffering from cardiac arrest, circulatory failure, and sudden cardiac death.

An article also reveals that heart block may trigger the onset of palpitations, dizziness, and shortness of breath. The conditions is linked to chest pain, fainting, and extreme fatigue as well.

Body systems harmed by atrioventricular block

Atrioventricular block primarily targets the heart and the circulatory system. The condition may also compromise both the respiratory tract and the central nervous system.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent atrioventricular block

A article lists nine of the most powerful foods that may help mitigate the risk of developing heart block. According to the entry, superfoods such as orange, garlic, lentils, and dark chocolate are highly effective in regulating blood pressure levels. The entry also touts kale and pomegranates as helping to reduce the odds of suffering from atherosclerosis, while almonds may reduce the likelihood of developing fatal arrhythmias. Sardines and red wine are known to cut down bad cholesterol rates and increase good cholesterol levels, the article adds.

Treatments, management plans for atrioventricular block

An entry featured on the Medscape website reveals that pacemaker implantation is a viable treatment for patients with heart block. According to the article, the process may involve either ventricular or dual chamber modes of pacing. The article also explains that cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) may be needed in patients who require long-term pacing due to reduced left ventricular (LV) function. On the other hand, temporary transcutaneous or transvenous pacing may be performed if  slow heart rate requires correction or if permanent pacemaker is not readily available or indicated.

Where to learn more


Atrioventricular block causes arrhythmia, bradycardia, hypotension, and insufficient cardiac contraction.

Atrioventricular block raises the odds of cardiac arrest, circulatory failure and sudden cardiac death.

Atrioventricular block may lead to palpitations, dizziness, and shortness of breath as well as fainting and extreme fatigue.

Atrioventricular block primarily targets the heart and the circulatory system.

Atrioventricular block may also compromise both the respiratory tract and the central nervous system.

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