ECG - right bundle branch block (RBBB) (Read 1475 times)

    Anybody within the running / endurance community have "ABNORMAL" results with their ECG relating to Right Bundle Branch Block?


    I got the "ABNORMAL" result, and after a 30 minute Google check, it appears as if 35% to 50% of endurance athletes have this challenge.


    The doctor wasn't overly concerned, but has guided me to a cardiologist.  Her suspicion was that the "ABNORMAL" finding was due to my IM training and that everything was actually "NORMAL".  Curious whether others have had this show up on their ECG.



    "The prevalence of incomplete RBBB has been estimated to range from 35% to 50% in athletes compared with 10% in young, healthy controls.  The ECG pattern is more often noted in athletes engaged in endurance sports, with a striking male preponderance. It has been suggested that the right ventricular (RV) conduction delay is not within the His-Purkinje system, but is caused by the enlarged RV cavity size/increased cardiac muscle mass and the resultant conduction delay"

    2016 Goals:

    #1: Do what I can do. <not doing well>

    #2: 1/2 Ironman (New Orleans, LAI) <DONE>


      I wear a holter monitor once a year because I have some conduction abnormalities.  I originally went to the cardiologist about 4 years ago when I had been running for about 6 months and become pretty fit.  I would be lying in bed at night or sitting on the couch and I could feel my heart miss a beat.  The rhythm would go 2-5 beats and then one cleanly missing beat and it would repeat.  It was a somewhat disconcerting thing to sit there and wait to see if my heart would start back up.


      I went through a bunch of tests, Holter monitor, stress test, cardiac echo.  In the end, two different cardiologists (one regular guy and the groups electrophysiologist) told me it was nothing to worry about and likely a result of fitness.  I don't remember details of the diagnosis anymore unfortunately.  It was fun to see the results of the Holter that there were times during the night when my heart rate was in the mid 20s because of the dropped beats.  Since I am not worried about what it is I am much less conscious of the missing beats anymore.


      I guess the moral is go see the cardiologist so someone who knows this stuff so they can make sure you are ok.

      Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

      12 Monkeys



        This is a message board. Cardiac conduction delays can be serious business. Talk to the cardiologist, not us yahoos.

        Feeling the growl again



          This is a message board. Cardiac conduction delays can be serious business. Talk to the cardiologist, not us yahoos.


          +1.  There is a lot of stuff like this where athletes test abnormal, but it's really normal.  But that doesn't mean that abnormal is necessarily normal.  Get checked out to confirm that abnormal is normal for you.


          I roll my eyes whenever a GP sees a HR below 60 and wants a 24-hr Halter monitor even when they know it's an athlete....but this sounds like it's beyond that.

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


          I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills




            As an Electrophysiologist- I would say it is normal after other abnormal causes are excluded.


            Having said that, my opinion, based upon my general experience and not having anything to do with your specific case in particular is that an incomplete rbbb is often benign. A true RBBB is also often benign, and rarely progresses to complete heart block in a rapid manner.


            Again, this is based upon years of general experience. I have neither spoken to you, taken a history, nor examined you. True recommendations can only be made by your treating physicians.

              I have this as well. I was diagnosed due to the good doctors trying to rule out any danger from another condition. Then I had to go through a long series of tests (I had many EKGs, ecocardiograms, stress tests, and time with the halter monitor) to make sure I could swim collegiately with the RBBB. I've not had any issue with it through 4 years of college swimming nor running after that time.

              From my experience, some doctors seem to really be concerned about it, mostly ones who don't know if you've had test to exclude larger issues. The biggest issue is when you end up in the ER and someone discovers your RBBB without a complete medical history.
              My recommendation is to work with your trusted cardiologist (I had one that was nervous about treating me, so he sent me to someone else) and make sure emergency workers will know of your RBBB if you do something silly like crash your bicycle. For me, the biggest reason for getting the Road ID is to share this information.


                Thanks for your posts.  The cardiologist has given me the green light to continue doing what I'm doing based on a follow up heart ultrasound as well as a treadmill stress test.  However, as Trent kindly pointed out, abnormal findings are serious business and should be treated as such.  Don't get medical advice or think things are "ok" based on yahoo's on message boards.  (and I mean that with all due respect to all of us here on RA).


                FWIW, I'm somewhat relieved that the cardiologist gave me the green light and didn't put the brakes on my goal race (in 37 days).

                2016 Goals:

                #1: Do what I can do. <not doing well>

                #2: 1/2 Ironman (New Orleans, LAI) <DONE>