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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Incomplete Bundle Branch Block and Exercise

10/26/2006

Question:

My 22 year old son who is very healthy otherwise (as a child had asthma) recently had some shortness of breath, occasional heart pounding, and odd twitching (his description) in his heart area. He saw our personal care physician who did an EKG which showed an incomplete bundle branch block.He is athletic (runs 2-3 miles 3 times per week) and in excellent physical condition. His cholesterol was 199. He is to have an echo of his heart today to make sure all is ok.

My question is this: I`m concerned about him going out to the field for ROTC exercises this weekend. He did not have this block in 2002 when he went through a voluntary firefighter physical (and cardiac stress test).Is this a big deal? Is there something in particular I should tell him to watch out for while away in the field?

Thank you for your time. The ask an expert on heart disease did not have anyone to ask about this so this was the only other option.

Answer:

An incomplete bundle branch block is not a serious problem in and of itself, but since it is new, I agree that your son should have an echo to look for congenital abnormalities (such as an atrial septal defect) that may be associated with incomplete RBBB.

As he is also having palpitations, it might be a good idea to have him see a cardiologist, and to have a holter monitor to evaluate his heart rhythm and see what these palpitations are.

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Response by:

Karen   Kutoloski, DO Karen Kutoloski, DO
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University