The Effect of Intravenous Procainamide on the HV Interval at Electrophysiologic Study

Steven E. Girard, Thomas M. Munger, Stephen C. Hammill, Win Kuang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The His bundle electrogram recorded at electrophysiologic study clearly differentiates atrioventricular (AV) node disease from distal conduction system disease. The distal conduction system may be tested further by infusing procainamide (10-15 mg/kg) intravenously. High-grade distal AV block or prolongation of the HV interval >80 ms was defined as an abnormal response to this test. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 79 patients who underwent electrophysiologic study with intravenous procainamide. An abnormal response to procainamide was observed in only 3% of 37 patients with a normal baseline HV (≤55 ms), in 48% of 27 patients with mild HV prolongation (56 to 70 ms), and in all 15 patients with moderate HV prolongation (>70 ms) (P <0.0001 for the trend). Procainamide induced high-grade AV block in 4 of 28 patients (14%) studied for syncope and in 1 of 51 patients (2%) studied for ventricular tachycardia. Syncope as the indication for electrophysiologic study (P = 0.05) and left bundle branch block morphology (P = 0.03) were predictors of high-grade AV block; baseline HV and QTc intervals were significantly prolonged in patients who developed AV block with procainamide. We identified a strong linear correlation (R = 0.85) between post-drug and baseline HV intervals, with a regression slope of 1.17 ± 0.09 and an intercept (± standard error) of 5.8 ± 5.0 ms. This linear response to procainamide and published prospective studies support pacing syncope patients with baseline HV >70 ms. Therefore, procainamide infusion during the electrophysiologic study of patients with undifferentiated syncope should be reserved for those with mild HV prolongation from approximately 55 to 70 ms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Conduction system disease
  • Heart block
  • His-Purkinje system
  • Permanent pacemaker
  • Syncope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effect of Intravenous Procainamide on the HV Interval at Electrophysiologic Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this