Effect of bundle branch block on microvolt T-wave alternans and electrophysiologic testing in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy

Daniel P. Morin, Eran S. Zacks, Andreas C. Mauer, Shaun Ageno, Matthew Janik, Steven M. Markowitz, Suneet Mittal, Sei Iwai, Bindi K. Shah, Bruce B. Lerman, Kenneth M. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: T-wave alternans (TWA) and electrophysiology study (EPS) are used for risk stratification for sudden death. Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of bundle branch block or intraventricular conduction delay on TWA and EPS. Methods: 386 patients with coronary artery disease, nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, and left ventricular ejection fraction ≤40% underwent TWA and EPS, and were followed for 40 ± 19 months. Results: Patients with wide QRS were more likely than narrow QRS patients to have nonnegative TWA (77% vs 63%, P <.01) or positive EPS (60% vs 48%, P = .03). Nonnegative TWA predicted the combined endpoint of ventricular tachyarrhythmia or death in narrow QRS (HR = 1.64, P = .04) but not wide QRS patients (HR = 1.04, P = .91). Similarly, positive EPS predicted the combined endpoint in narrow QRS (HR = 2.28, P <.001) but not wide QRS patients (HR = 0.94, P = .84). In multivariate analysis, QRS width and TWA, as well as QRS width and EPS, were independent predictors of events. There was no TWA- or EPS-based difference in arrhythmia-free survival within any specific wide QRS morphology. Conclusion: TWA and EPS are more often abnormal in patients with a wide QRS than in those with a narrow QRS. In patients with narrow QRS, both TWA and EPS stratify patients according to their risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmia or death. However, among patients with a wide QRS, regardless of specific QRS morphology, the risk is high and comparable regardless of TWA or EPS results. Therefore, the only truly low-risk group consists of those patients with negative test results and a narrow QRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-912
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bundle branch block
  • Electrophysiologic study
  • QRS
  • T-wave alternans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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