Exercise-induced (EI) right bundle branch block (RBBB) is an infrequent electrocardiographic phenomenon, and controversy exists regarding its association with cardiovascular disease. We compared the prevalence and prognostic significance of RBBB, abnormal ST depression, and normal electrocardiographic findings in response to exercise testing in 9,623 consecutive veterans who underwent exercise testing from 1987 to 2007. EI RBBB, EI ST depression, and a normal exercise electrocardiographic response occurred in 0.24%, 15.2%, and 71.9% veterans, respectively. After appropriate exclusions, of the 8,047 patients analyzed, 6 patients in the EI RBBB subgroup died. Of these 6 deaths, 3 were cardiovascular deaths during the 9 years of follow-up. The annual death rate was 7.3% (1.4% cardiac deaths), 2.6% (1.2% cardiac deaths), and 1.8% (0.6% cardiac death) among those with EI RBBB, EI ST depression, and a normal ST response, respectively (p <0.0001). The patients with EI RBBB were significantly older, more overweight, and had a greater prevalence of coronary artery disease, heart failure, and hypertension compared to the 2 other subgroups. Patients with EI RBBB had an age-adjusted Cox proportional hazard ratio of 1.13 (p = 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.51 to 2.5) for all-cause mortality and 1.57 (p = 0.43, 95% confidence interval 0.51 to 4.8) for cardiovascular mortality, respectively. In conclusion, EI RBBB is a rare occurrence during routine clinical exercise testing that appears to be benign.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.10.050
View details for Web of Science ID 000278137100017
View details for PubMedID 20185016