Fascicular heart blocks and risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes: results from a large primary care population

Benjamin Chris Nyholm*, Jonas Ghouse, Christina Ji-Young Lee, Peter Vibe Rasmussen, Adrian Pietersen, Steen Møller Hansen, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Lars Køber, Stig Haunso, Morten Salling Olesen, Jesper Hastrup Svendsen, Claus Graff, Anders Gaarsdal Holst, Jonas Bille Nielsen, Morten Wagner Skov

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde
7 Citationer (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Fascicular heart blocks can progress to complete heart blocks, but this risk has not been evaluated in a large general population.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between various types of fascicular blocks diagnosed by electrocardiographic (ECG) readings and the risk of incident higher degree atrioventricular block (AVB), syncope, pacemaker implantation, and death.

METHODS: We studied primary care patients referred for ECG recording between 2001 and 2015. Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) as well as absolute risks of cardiovascular outcomes.

RESULTS: Of 358,958 primary care patients (median age 54 years; 55% women), 13,636 (3.8%) had any type of fascicular block. Patients were followed up to 15.9 years. We found increasing HRs of incident syncope, pacemaker implantation, and third-degree AVB with increasing complexity of fascicular block. Compared with no block, isolated left anterior fascicular block (LAFB) was associated with 0%-2% increased 10-year risk of developing third-degree AVB (HR 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25-2.05), whereas right bundle branch block combined with LAFB and first-degree AVB was associated with up to 23% increased 10-year risk (HR 11.0; 95% CI 7.7-15.7), depending on age and sex group. Except for left posterior fascicular block (HR 2.09; 95% CI 1.87-2.32), we did not find any relevant associations between fascicular block and death.

CONCLUSION: We found that higher degrees of fascicular blocks were associated with increasing risk of syncope, pacemaker implantation, and complete heart block, but the association with death was negligible.

TidsskriftHeart Rhythm
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)252-259
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2022


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