Left anterior fascicular block pathophysiology

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]

Overview

Pathophysiology

Normal activation of the left ventricle proceeds down the left bundle branch, which consist of two fascicles the left anterior fascicle and left posterior fascicle. Left anterior fascicular block (LAFB), which is also known as left anterior hemiblock (LAHB), occurs when a cardiac impulse spreads first through the left posterior fascicle, causing a delay in activation of the anterior and lateral walls of the left ventricle which are normally activated via the left anterior fascicle.[1] Although there is a delay or block in the activation of the left anterior fascicle there is still preservation of initial left to right septal activation as well as preservation of the inferior activation of the left ventricle (preservation of septal Q waves in I and aVL and small initial R wave in leads II, III, and aVF). The delayed and unopposed activation of the remainder of the left ventricle now results in a shift in the QRS axis leftward and superiorly, causing marked left axis deviation. This delayed activation also results in a widening of the QRS complex, although not to the extent of a complete LBBB. [2]

References

  1. Mirvis DM, Goldberger AL. Electrocardiography. In: Braunwald E, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Heart disease: a textbook of cardiovascular medicine, 6th edn. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2001:82–125.
  2. Surawicz B, Knilans TK. Chou’s electrocardiography in clinical practice: adult and pediatric, 5th edn. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 2001.



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