• carotid sinus syndrome;
  • sick sinus syndrome;
  • permanent pacing

BRIGNOLE, M., ET AL: Pacing for Carotid Sinus Syndrome and Sick Sinus Syndrome.The real incidence of pacemaker implants for carotid sinus syndrome (CSS) and the relation between CSS and sick sinus syndrome (SSS) is not precisely known. Patients who needed pacing therapy because of atrial bradyarrhythmias were investigated by means of carotid sinus massage, dynamic ECG, and invasive electrophysiological sinus node evaluation. Of 298 consecutive patients receiving a pacemaker implant, 36 (12%) had a severe cardioinhibitory carotid sinus reflex with reproducible spontaneous symptoms (CSS), 33 (11%) had sinus bradycardia < 50 beat/min or an abnormal electrophysiological evaluation (SSS) and 24 (8%) had both (CSS + SSS). The annual incidence was 40, 37, and 26, respectively, implants per year/million of inhabitants (total incidence 325). Patients affected by CSS, if compared with those affected by SSS, showed: a higher prevalence of syncope (97% vs 42%); more syncopal, episodes per patient (2.9 ± 2 vs 1.8 ± 0.9); a lower prevalence of associated cardiac diseases (53% vs 100%); cardiac enlargement (36% vs 88%); heart failure (6% vs 36%) and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (0% vs 42%); and a more frequent indication for VVI pacing (75% vs 3%). In patients with CSS + SSS, intermediate characteristics were present. In conclusion, CSS is as frequent an indication to cardiac pacing as SSS; clinical differences justify a distinction between them, even if they are associated in 26% of cases.