Prognosis of incidental left bundle branch block

Abbasin Zegard, Osita Okafor, Joseph De Bono, Richard Steeds, Lucy Hudsmith, Berthold Stegemann, Ayman Jani, Howard Marshall, Ben Holloway, Francisco Leyva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS: Incidental left bundle branch block (iLBBB) is a frequent cause for cardiology referrals. In such instances, there is uncertainty as to its prognosis. We sought to determine the utility of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in the risk stratification of patients with iLBBB. METHODS AND RESULTS: Clinical events were collected in patients with iLBBB who had CMR. Controls had no cardiac symptoms or cardiac disease, a normal CMR scan and electrocardiogram. Amongst patients with iLBBB [n = 193, aged 62.7 ± 12.6 years (mean ± SD)], 110/193 (56.9%) had an abnormal phenotype (iLBBBCMR+) and 83/110 (43.0%) had a normal phenotype (iLBBBCMR-). Over 3.75 years (median; inter-quartile range: 2.7-5.5), iLBBBCMR+ had a higher total mortality [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 6.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.91-22.0] and total mortality or major adverse cardiac events (MACEs; aHR 9.15, 95% CI 2.56-32.6) than controls (n = 107). In contrast, iLBBBCMR- had a similar risk of total mortality compared with controls, but total mortality or MACEs was higher (aHR 4.24, 95% CI 1.17-15.4; P = 0.028). Amongst iLBBB patients, both myocardial fibrosis (aHR 5.15, 95% CI 1.53-17.4) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)  ≤ 50% (aHR 3.88, 95% CI 1.67-9.06) predicted total mortality. Myocardial fibrosis plus LVEF ≤50% was associated with the highest risk of total mortality (aHR: 9.87, 95% CI 2.99-32.6) and total mortality or MACEs (aHR 3.98, 95% CI 1.73-9.11). CONCLUSIONS: Outcomes in iLBBBCMR+ were poor whereas survival in iLBBBCMR- was comparable with controls. Myocardial fibrosis and LVEF <50% had an additive effect on the risk of clinical outcomes. A CMR scan is pivotal in risk-stratifying patients with iLBBB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-963
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Early online date14 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • Left bundle branch block
  • Mortality


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