My son with RBBB may be at risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD)

hi there. My seven year old son was diagnosed with right bundle branch block at birth.  This is completely unrelated to any surgery and was only diagnosed because he had some mild respiratory difficulties upon birth and was admitted the the NICU and placed on a heart monitor.He is otherwise healthy and has been completely asymptomatic.  He has an EKG, ECHO, and Holter monitor study done yearly.  Now that he is seven and very active in sports, his cardiologist would like to do an MRI and an EP study to rule out the liklihood of sudden death.  Realizing of course that additional info would be good to have, we are still very reluctant to put him through an invasive procedure and nervous about the possibility of a bad outcome when messing with his heart rhythm....especially when he has never had a single symptom.  What is your advice? Thanks so much for your time.

It all depends on what his EKG/Holter monitor results show, so ask for an explanation. As with any procedure, the risks need to be weighed against the benefits, in this case protection against potential sudden death syndrome.

He or she is probably concerned about a variety of causes of RBBB that may include the Brugada syndrome, or other causes of SCD that may include Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW), or the long QT syndrome:

Here are some links to sudden cardiovascular death (SCD):
SCD in Athletes,
SCD in marathon runners.

Hope this helps,
Dr T


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