The natural history of congenital or childhood non-immune, isolated atrioventricular (AV) block is poorly defined.Methods and results
We retrospectively studied 141 children with isolated, non-immune AV block diagnosed in utero, or up to 15 years of age, at 13 French medical centres, between 1980 and 2009. Patients with structural heart disease or maternal antibodies were excluded. Atrioventricular block was asymptomatic in 119 (84.4%) and complete in 100 (70.9%) patients. There was progression to complete AV block in 29/41 (70.7%) patients with incomplete AV block over 2.8 ± 3.4 years (1–155 months), but all patients with incomplete AV block may not have been included in the study. Narrow QRS complex was present in 18 of 26 patients (69.2%) with congenital, and 106 of 115 (92.2%) with childhood AV block. Pacemakers were implanted in 112 children (79.4%), during the first year of life in 18 (16.1%) and before 10 years of age in 90 (80.4%). The mean interval between diagnosis of AV block and pacemaker implants was 2.6 ± 3.9 years (0–300 months). The pacing indication was prophylactic in 70 children (62.5%). During a mean follow-up of 11.6 ± 6.7 years (1–32 years), no patient died or developed dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The long-term follow-up was uncomplicated in 127 children (90.1%).Conclusion
In this large multicentre study, the long-term outcome of congenital or childhood non-immune, isolated AV block was favourable, regardless of the patient's age at the time of diagnosis. No patient died or developed DCM, and pacemaker-related complications were few.