AV block

Atrioventricular block is a type of heart block in which the conduction between atria and ventricles of the heart is impaired.

There are three types of AV block:

  1. first degree AV block
  2. second degree AV block
  3. third degree AV block

The degree by which the electrical signals are slowed defines the degree of AV block. Third degree AV block is the most severe and persons may need emergency treatment including but not limited to a pacemaker.  Electrocardiogram (ECG) can show and differentiate between the degrees of AV block.

Lyme disease is a possible cause of AV block in which case intravenous antibiotic treatment is indicated. The AV block can cause a very slow heart rate that puts the patient in risk of passing out, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath.