Comparison of the Cardiopulmonary Response to Exercise in Recipients of Dual Sensor DDDR Pacemakers Versus a Healthy Control Group


Address for reprints: Eric Page, M.D., UCP.X, 45 Marie Reynoard Ave., 38100 Grenoble, France. Fax: (33)0476338469; e-mail:


PAGE, E.,et al.:Comparison of the Cardiopulmonary Response to Exercise in Recipients of Dual Sensor DDDR Pacemakers Versus a Healthy Control Group.The authors previously have shown in healthy subjects that age related loss of muscular strength did not alter the chronotropic response during treadmill exercise, whether with sudden onset of effort, as in the chronotropic assessment exercise protocol (CAEP) or more gradual effort as in the Harbor exercise protocol. This study was performed to verify that in patients suffering from chronotropic insufficiency, and in absence of other effort-limiting disorders, “physiologic” pacing enables a cardiorespiratory response comparable to that of age-matched healthy subjects. Furthermore, the aim of the study was to confirm that the response of a new dual sensor-based pacing system was properly adapted to the metabolic demand, whether during CAEP or during Harbor test, by subjecting patients to both protocols. All study participants were able to undergo treadmill exercise testing, had normal cardiopulmonary function tests at rest, and no cardiac, muscular, or pulmonary disease. A healthy group (control) included 16 subjects (mean age 70.4 ± 3.9 years), and the test group (pacemaker [PM]) included 9 subjects (mean age 67.1 ± 10.8 years) permanently paced for isolated chronotropic insufficiency with a dual sensor pacing system. All subjects underwent CAEP and Harbor tests with measurements of gas exchange, 24 hours apart, in randomized order. All subjects reached an appropriate level of exercise, as expressed by mean lactate plasma concentrations, which were slightly higher in the control than the PM group during CAEP (4.9 ± 1.9 vs 3.7 ± 1.9 mmol/L, NS) and Harbor (5.3 ± 1.9 vs 3.8 ± 1.8 mmol/L, P < 0.05) tests. No statistical difference was observed in VO2 and VE at peak exercise between the two groups during either test. In the PM group, heart rate at peak exercise and metabolic reserve slope were higher during the CAEP than the Harbor protocol. These two measurements were significantly lower than in the control group. The PM group also had lower plasma lactate concentrations and dyspnea/fatigue scores. The Harbor test seems less suitable than the CAEP test to study the chronotropic response of pacemakers with dual sensors during exercise. A high performance of the new dual sensor-based pulse generator was confirmed in this physically fit patient population, whose peak heart rate was considerably higher than in other similar studies. (PACE 2003; 26[Pt. II]:239–243)