Journal Article

Ventricular tachycardia with QRS configuration similar to that in sinus rhythm and a myocardial origin: differential diagnosis with bundle branch reentry

H. Guo, S. Hecker, S. Lévy and B. Olshansky

in EP Europace

Published on behalf of European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

Volume 3, issue 2, pages 115-123
Published in print April 2001 | ISSN: 1099-5129
Published online April 2001 | e-ISSN: 1532-2092 | DOI:
Ventricular tachycardia with QRS configuration similar to that in sinus rhythm and a myocardial origin: differential diagnosis with bundle branch reentry

Show Summary Details



Tachycardia with a QRS configuration which resembles that in sinus rhythm is usually thought to be supraventricular. Ventricular tachycardia, with a similar QRS configuration to that in sinus rhythm on the 12-lead ECG, can occur. The mechanisms of this form of ventricular tachycardia have not been previously reported.

Methods and Results

The mechanism of ventricular tachycardia was defined during electrophysiological study in five patients. During sinus rhythm, all patients had a wide QRS complex (>0·12 s) on the 12-lead ECG. The morphology remained grossly unchanged during spontaneous, symptomatic tachycardia. Four of the five patients had coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction. The remaining patient had idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. The relationship between the His bundle, deflection, the right bundle branch and the QRS complex was evaluated during tachycardia. Atrial and ventricular pacing, and ventricular activation mapping were performed during tachycardia to define the tachycardia mechanism. The tachycardia induced at electrophysiological testing, which was similar to the clinical tachycardia, was proven to be ventricular tachycardia in each patient. The morphology of ventricular tachycardia was right bundle branch block in two patients and left bundle branch block in three patients. The median tachycardia cycle length was 300 ms (range: 260–480 ms). His bundle activation occurred in a 1:1 relationship with ventricular activation during tachycardia in all patients at least intermittently. The tachycardias were thought initially to be bundle branch reentry tachycardia. With further intervention and continued observation, it became clear that His bundle activation was passive and was not required for the tachycardia to sustain. During tachycardia, His bundle activation appeared to precede the local ventricular activation. Instead, the His bundle was activated slowly from the previous ventricular beat causing a long ventricular-His (VH) interval. This was shown by: (1) activation patterns, (2) response to pacing, (3) intermittent VH dissociation, and (4) termination of ventricular tachycardia.


A unique form of ventricular tachycardia is described. The QRS complex morphology on the 12-lead ECG during tachycardia was grossly similar to that during sinus rhythm. The His bundle activation was passive and occurred with a long activation time from the ventricle to the His bundle. Although it mimics usual bundle branch reentry, this form of ventricular tachycardia appears to be due to a different mechanism in which the His bundle is not obligatory for the continuation of the reentrant phenomenon.

Keywords: Arrhythmia; bundle branch block; electrophysiology; reentry; tachycardia

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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