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Unsuspected coronary artery disease as cause of chronic atrioventricular block in middle age.
  1. W Ginks,
  2. R Sutton,
  3. H Siddons,
  4. A Leatham


    Attention has recently been drawn to the relatively poor prognosis of middle aged patients paced for chronic atrioventricular block when age-linked expectation of life is taken into account, and it has been suggested that this may be the result of underlying coronary artery disease, despite the absence of symptoms to suggest this. It was the purpose of this study to determine the incidence of unsuspected coronary artery disease in middle aged patients presenting with chronic atrioventricular block. Studies were made on a consecutive series of 30 patients aged 45 to 65 (mean age 56 years) with chronic atrioventricular disease who had been referred for pacing. Patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction or angina or with sinuatrial disease without atrioventricular disease were excluded. Coronary arteriography disclosed the presence of severe coronary artery disease in 13 patients. Of the remaining 17 patients, four had congestive cardiomyopathy, two had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, one had aortic stenosis, and in 10 patients the aetiology of the heart block was unknown. Myocardial revascularisation was undertaken in six patients with paroxysmal atrioventricular block caused by coronary artery disease. Operation did not result in any sustained improvement in atrioventricular conduction.

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