Atrioventricular Block Medication
- Author: Chirag M Sandesara, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD more...
Long-term medical therapy is not indicated in atrioventricular (AV) block. Permanent pacing is the therapy of choice in advanced AV block, and it does not require concomitant medical therapy. Sometimes AV nodal blocking medications that contribute to heart block can be discontinued if not necessary. Atropine administration (0.5-1.0 mg) or isoproterenol infusion may improve AV conduction in emergencies where bradycardia is caused by a proximal AV block (located in the atrioventricular node [AVN]) but may worsen conduction if the block is in the His-Purkinje system.
The goal of administering anticholinergic agents is to improve conduction through the AVN by reducing vagal tone via muscarinic receptor blockade. This is only effective if the site of block is within the AVN. For patients with suspected infranodal block, this therapy is ineffective and may make the level of the block worse if it is in the His bundle or below.
Atropine increases AV conduction. An insufficient dose may cause paradoxical slowing of the heart rate.
Isoproterenol has beta1- and beta2-adrenergic receptor activity. It binds the beta-receptors of the heart, smooth muscle of bronchi, skeletal muscle, the vasculature, and the alimentary tract. It has positive inotropic and chronotropic actions.
[Guideline] Epstein AE, Dimarco JP, Ellenbogen KA, et al. ACC/AHA/HRS 2008 guidelines for Device-Based Therapy of Cardiac Rhythm Abnormalities: executive summary. Heart Rhythm. 2008 Jun. 5(6):934-55. [Medline].
[Guideline] Epstein AE, DiMarco JP, Ellenbogen KA, Estes NA 3rd, Freedman RA, Gettes LS, et al. 2012 ACCF/AHA/HRS focused update incorporated into the ACCF/AHA/HRS 2008 guidelines for device-based therapy of cardiac rhythm abnormalities: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Jan 22. 61(3):e6-75. [Medline].
Schott JJ, Alshinawi C, Kyndt F, et al. Cardiac conduction defects associate with mutations in SCN5A. Nat Genet. 1999 Sep. 23(1):20-1. [Medline].
Nery PB, Beanlands RS, Nair GM, Green M, Yang J, McArdle BA, et al. Atrioventricular block as the initial manifestation of cardiac sarcoidosis in middle-aged adults. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2014 Aug. 25(8):875-81. [Medline].
Saleh F, Greene EA, Mathison D. Evaluation and management of atrioventricular block in children. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2014 Jun. 26(3):279-85. [Medline].
Crisel RK, Farzaneh-Far R, Na B, Whooley MA. First-degree atrioventricular block is associated with heart failure and death in persons with stable coronary artery disease: data from the Heart and Soul Study. Eur Heart J. 2011 Aug. 32(15):1875-80. [Medline].
Kuleva M, Le Bidois J, Decaudin A, et al. Clinical course and outcome of antenatally detected atrioventricular block: experience of a single tertiary centre and review of the literature. Prenat Diagn. 2014 Dec 8. [Medline].
Stiles S. BLOCK-HF: replace RV pacing with BiV in AV-block heart failure. Heartwire. Nov 8, 2012. [Full Text].