• atrial fibrillation;
  • DDD pacemakers

GROSS, J., ET AL.: Clinical Predictors and Natural History of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with DDD Pacemakers. Effective DDD pacing requires that patients remain free of atrial fibrillation (AF). Four hundred eighty-nine consecutive patients undergoing initial transvenous DDD implants were reviewed to determine the incidence of postimplant AF in this population and to assess what factors, known at implant, predicted the later development of AF. The variables analyzed included age, sex, indication for implant (dominant SA or AV node disease), history of AF, atrial electrogram characteristics and pacing threshold, and the status of retrograde conduction. Forty-eight patients (9.8%) developed AF a mean of 23 months postimplant, and 11 of these patients returned to sinus rhythm and were managed once again in DDD for significant periods. A prior history of AF and the presence of dominant sinoatrial disease were far more prevalent in the patients who developed AF (P < 0.001) though the vast majority of patients with these two independent risk factors remained in sinus rhythm through much or all of their follow-up period. We conclude that the incidence of AF is not of a magnitude to preclude DDD pacing in the vast majority of patients in sinus rhythm at implant.