An electrocardiographic algorithm for determining the location of pacemaker electrode in patients with right bundle branch block configuration during permanent ventricular pacing

Ertan Okmen, Izzet Erdinler, Enis Oguz, Ahmet Akyol, Onur Turek, Nese Cam, Tanju Ulufer
Angiology 2006, 57 (5): 623-30
The expected morphology of right ventricular pacing is a left bundle branch block (LBBB) pattern. However, right bundle branch block (RBBB) can also be seen during permanent right ventricular pacing. The aim of this study was to develop an electrocardiographic algorithm to differentiate this benign condition from septal and free wall perforation with subsequent left ventricular pacing. Three hundred consecutive patients who had permanent ventricular or dual-chamber pacemaker implantation between 1999 and 2000 were screened and 25 patients (8.3%) who exhibited RBBB configuration were included in the study. Echocardiograms and chest radiographs were evaluated in order to identify the pacing lead location in this group. The authors formed a study group with their own 25 patients and 22 cases of RBBB with permanent pacemaker from previous publications (total 47 patients). Frontal axis, QRS morphology in lead V(1), and the precordial transition point, which is defined as the precordial lead where R wave amplitude is equal to S wave amplitude, were examined. Placement of precordial leads V(1) and V(2) 1 interspace lower than the standard location (Klein maneuver) eliminated the RBBB pattern in 12 patients. RBBB pattern with "true right ventricular pacing" was detected in 24 of the 25 patients, and in 11 of the 22 patients reported in the literature (total 35 patients). Right ventricular pacing was correctly identified in 34 of 35 patients with use of criteria including left superior axis deviation, RS or qR morphology in lead V(1), and precordial transition at lead V(3) with a high sensitivity and specificity. A simple surface electrocardiogram can accurately predict the lead location in patients having RBBB morphology with right ventricular pacing.

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