Diseases & Conditions


Heart Block, Congenital

Synonyms of Heart Block, Congenital
  • Atrioventricular (AV) Block

Disorder Subdivisions

  • First Degree Congenital Heart Block
  • Second Degree Con. Heart Block (Wenckebach [Mobitz I]; Mobitz II; included)
  • Third Degree Congenital (Complete) Heart Block

General Discussion
Congenital heart block is characterized by interference with the transfer of the electrical nerve impulses (conduction) that regulate the normal, rhythmic, pumping action of the heart muscle (heart block). The severity of such conduction abnormalities varies among affected individuals.

The normal heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers are the atria and the two lower chambers are the ventricles. Within the right atrium of a normal heart is a natural pacemaker that initiates and controls the heartbeat. The electrical stimulus travels from the pacemaker (sinoatrial or SA node) to the ventricles along a very specific path consisting of conducting tissue and known as the AV (atrioventricular) node. As long as the electrical impulse is transmitted normally, the heart behaves normally.

If the transmission of the signal is impeded, the blocked transmission is known as a heart block or an AV block. If the heart block occurs in the fetus or newborn, the condition is known as congenital heart block. This condition has nothing at all to do with the flow of blood or with the blockage of a major or minor coronary artery. It is an electrical problem rather than a hydraulic one.

Heart blocks are categorized according to the degree of impairment of the patient. The categories are first, second and third degree heart block

Organizations related to Heart Block, Congenital
  • American Heart Association
    National Center
    Dallas TX 75231-4596
    Phone #: 214-373-6300
    800 #: 800-242-8721
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.americanheart.org
  • Congenital Heart Anomalies, Support, Education, & Resources
    2112 North Wilkins Road
    Swanton OH 43558
    Phone #: 419-825-5575
    800 #: --
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.csun.edu/~hcmth011/chaser/chaser-news.html
  • Congenital Heart Information Network
    1561 Clark Dr
    Yardley PA 19067
    Phone #: 215-493-3068
    800 #: --
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.tchin.org
  • Fetal Hope Foundation
    9786 S Holland Street
    Littelton CO 80127
    Phone #: 303-932-0553
    800 #: 877-789-4673
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.fetalhope.org
  • International Bundle Branch Block Association
    6631 West 83rd Street
    Los Angeles CA 90045-2875
    Phone #: 310-670-9132
    800 #: --
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: N/A
  • Kids With Heart National Association for Children's Heart Disorders, Inc.
    1578 Careful Dr
    Green Bay WI 54304-2941
    Phone #: 920-498-0058
    800 #: 800-538-5390
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.kidswithheart.org
  • Little Hearts, Inc.
    P.O. Box 171
    Cromwell CT 06416
    Phone #: 860-635-0006
    800 #: 866-435-4673
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.littlehearts.org
  • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
    150 Custer Court
    Green Bay WI 54301-1243
    Phone #: 920-336-5333
    800 #: 877-336-5333
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
  • NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    31 Center Drive MSC 2480
    Bethesda MD 20892-2480
    Phone #: 301-592-8573
    800 #: --
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Home page: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html