Heart block

AV Block; Arrhythmia;  First-degree heart block; Second-degree heart block; Mobitz type 1; Wenckebach's block; Mobitz type II; Third-degree heart block

Heart block is a problem in the electrical signals in the heart.

Normally, the heart beat starts in an area in the top chambers of the heart (atria). This area is the heart's pacemaker. The electrical signals travel to the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). This keeps the heart beat steady and regular. 

Heart block occurs when the electrical signal is slowed down or does not reach the bottom chambers of the heart. Your heart may beat slowly, or it may skip beats. Heart block may resolve on its own, or it may be permanent and require treatment.

There are three degrees of heart block. First-degree heart block is the mildest type and third-degree is the most severe.

First-degree heart block:

  • Rarely has symptoms

Second-degree heart block:

  • The electrical impulse may not reach the lower chambers of the heart.
  • The heart may miss a beat or beats and may be slow and irregular.
  • You may feel dizzy, faint, or have other symptoms.

Third-degree heart block:

  • The electrical signal does not move to the lower chambers of the heart. In this case, the lower chambers beat at a much slower rhythm, and the upper and lower chambers do not beat at the same rate.
  • The heart fails to pump enough blood to the body. This can lead to fainting and shortness of breath.
  • This is an emergency that needs medical help right away.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional