In order to determine whether the electrocardiographic criteria of left ventricular hypertrophy apply in the presence of left bundle-branch block we studied 79 cases of intermittent left bundle-branch block and compared the QRS voltage and axis before and after its onset. Cases of incomplete left bundle-branch block were excluded. There was a statistically significant correlation between pre- and post-left bundle-branch block values of R or S wave voltage in leads I, V1, V2, V5, and V6, the Sokolow index (R V5 or V6 + S V1), and the QRS axis. There was a statistically significant reduction in R wave voltage in leads I, V5, and V6, an increase in S wave voltage in V1 and V2, and leftward shift of QRS axis, but the Sokolow index remained unchanged, after the onset of left bundle-branch block. The Sokolow criteria for left ventricular hypertrophy apply satisfactorily even in the presence of left bundle-branch block, though specificity is low, but QRS axis is unhelpful.
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