Advanced Pacemaker Diagnostic Features in the Characterization of Atrial Fibrillation: Impact on Preventive Pacing Algorithms

Authors


Address for reprints: Alexander Yang, M.D., Dept. of Cardiology, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, D-53105 Bonn, Germany. Fax: +49-228-287-5507; e-mail: ji_hoon_yang@yahoo.de

Abstract

YANG, A., et al.: Advanced Pacemaker Diagnostic Features in the Characterization of Atrial Fibrillation: Impact on Preventive Pacing Algorithms.Pacing algorithms to prevent PAF are mainly based on the suppression of premature atrial complexes (PACs), which play an important role in its initiation. In contrast to 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiograms, advanced pacemaker (PM) diagnostic features are capable of recording AF episodes during long follow-up periods and of characterizing AF in a detailed fashion. For the specific use of these algorithms, a detailed characterization of AF was performed in 91 dual chamber PM recipients with histories of AF. Fifteen patients with episodes of oversensing due to far-field signals or frequent episodes of “2:1-undersensing” of atrial flutter were excluded. The remaining 76 patients had high recurrence rates of AF (median 0.8 episodes/day), however, the majority of episodes lasted <7 minutes. Despite frequent PACs (median 10.8/hour) during sinus rhythm, a median of 66.4% of the AF episodes were preceded by <2 PACs/min before onset. In conclusion, frequent, short-lived AF episodes seem best suited for AF preventive pacing therapies. However, the small number of PACs preceding many AF episodes may limit the efficacy of PAC suppressing algorithms. (PACE 2003; 26[Pt. II]:310–313)

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