Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Wenckebach Heart Block Overview

Another name for Wenckebach Heart Block is Second Degree Heart Block.

What is second degree heart block?
A person with second degree heart block has a delay in the electrical impulse that travels through the heart, resulting in an incomplete heartbeat. The heart contains four chambers: two small atria make up the top of the heart, and two large ventricles make up the bottom of the heart. An electrical impulse stimulates the muscle fibers in the heart to contract. The impulse spreads through the heart in a very organized manner, so that the atria contract first, followed by the ventricles. In second degree heart block, the electrical impulse stimulates the ventricles to beat most of the time, but some electrical impulses do not stimulate the ventricle to beat. Common causes of second degree heart block include a heart attack or a drug side effect.

What are the symptoms of second degree heart block?
Symptoms of second degree heart block may include chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, fatigue, faintness, or fainting. The symptoms of second degree heart block are worse during exertion.

How does the doctor treat second degree heart block?
Treatment for second degree heart block includes stopping medication that may cause heart block. Additional treatment for treat second degree heart block may include intravenous fluids, cardiac monitoring, blood pressure monitoring, medication, and pacemaker therapy.

Continue to Wenckebach Heart Block Symptoms

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Wenckebach Heart Block References
  1. Shaw DB, Gowers JI, Kekwick CA, New KH, Whistance AW. Is Mobitz type I atrioventricular block benign in adults? Heart. 2004 Feb;90(2):169-74. [14729789]
  2. Silverman ME, Upshaw CB Jr, Lange HW. Woldemar Mobitz and His 1924 classification of second-degree atrioventricular block. Circulation. 2004 Aug 31;110(9):1162-7. [15339865]
  3. Wogan JM, Lowenstein SR, Gordon GS. Second-degree atrioventricular block: Mobitz type II. J Emerg Med. 1993 Jan-Feb;11(1):47-54. [8445186]
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