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Bundle branch block patterns and long-term outcomes in heart failure

Abdel-Qadir HM, Tu JV, Austin PC, Wang JT, Lee DS. Int J Cardiol. 2011; 146(2):213-8. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Background — The prognostic value of left and right bundle branch blocks (LBBB and RBBB) in hospitalized heart failure (HF) patients is unclear. We sought to determine the prognostic value of bundle branch blocks in patients hospitalized with heart failure.

Methods — The associations of BBB type with death, HF hospitalizations or cardiovascular hospitalizations over a five year follow-up were examined within the EFFECT study of hospitalized patients fulfilling the Framingham criteria for acute heart failure. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine associations with BBB type, and survival was assessed using multiple Cox regression analysis.

Results — Among 9082 patients (16.3% with LBBB; 7.2% with RBBB), LBBB was independently associated with lower systolic pressure, tachycardia and hyponatremia (odds ratio [OR] of 0.93 per 10 mmHg, 1.04 per 10 beats/min, and 0.84 per 10 mmol/L, respectively). Men and diabetics (OR of 2.11 and 1.35, respectively) had greater odds of RBBB. After multiple covariate adjustment (n=7319), patients with LBBB had increased risk of HF hospitalization with adjusted hazard ratio [HR] of 1.32 (95% CI; 1.20-1.46, p<0.001) and cardiovascular hospitalization with HR of 1.13 (95% CI; 1.04-1.23, p=0.003). LBBB was associated with increased mortality with adjusted HR of 1.10 (95% CI, 1.02-1.18; p=0.011) in 7910 analysed patients. RBBB did not predict significantly increased risk of either death or hospitalization.

Conclusions — Heart failure patients presenting with LBBB had greater clinical severity of heart failure at presentation and greater risk of death and hospitalization for heart failure or cardiovascular disease than those without BBB. In contrast, RBBB did not independently predict worse outcomes.

Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases Hospitalization