Third Degree Heart Block | Reference Guide
EKG FeaturesRate: Characterized by Atrial rate usually normal and faster than ventricular rate
Rhythm: Regular, but atrial and ventricular rhythms are independent
P Wave: Normal shape and size, may appear within QRS complexes
PR Interval: Absent: the atria and ventricles beat independently.
QRS: Normal, but wide if junctional escape focus
Complete heart block presents with Regular P to P and R to R intervals and a variable P-R interval.
In third degree heart block, none of the SA node impulses reach the ventricles. The ventricles will typically compensate by their own pacemaking, known as an escape rhythm. Thus, the atria and ventricles will beat independently and this can be observed on the ECG. The P waves (atrial beating) and QRS complex (ventricles) are unrelated in time. The PR interval will be variable.
EKG Tracing Example
Authors and ReviewersAuthored by Thomas O'Brien
Medically reviewed by Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD
Last Update: 11/8/2021