Your heart’s electrical system spreads impulses through the upper chambers like a wave and then down to the lower chambers through an electrical bridge. Sometimes, something called a “heart block” can occur. This means an abnormality in the electrical bridge between the upper and lower chambers occurs that prevents impulses from the upper chambers from getting to the lower chambers in a normal fashion.
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This can be a major issue because the lower chambers of the heart are the main pumping chambers. If they don’t receive the electrical impulses, they don’t contract and pump.
In this white board session, Patrick J. Tchou, MD, Associate Section Head of the Section of Electrophysiology and Cardiac Pacing in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, explains the different degrees of heart blocks and how they can cause issues ranging from slowing electrical impulses to keeping them from getting through.