• defibrillation – ICD;
  • electrophysiology – clinical


The prevalence, predictors, and survival for the development of pacemaker dependence (PD) in patients implanted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) are unknown.


This was a retrospective analysis of 1,550 consecutive patients with ICD implantation at a single center from 1996 to 2008 with a mean of 4.2 ± 3.4 years. Patients with implant intrinsic heart rates less than 40 beats/min (n = 48) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (n = 444) were excluded leaving 1,058 patients in this study. PD was defined as an intrinsic rhythm <40 beats/min after inhibiting the pacemaker, <50 beats/min with transient symptoms of dizziness relieved by resumption of pacing and right ventricle pacing despite algorithms to promote intrinsic conduction at the 3 monthly follow-up ICD clinic visits. Multivariate regression and Cox proportional hazard models were used for analysis.


The mean age was 64 ± 13 years; 79% were male with a primary indication for the ICD in 57%. PD occurred in 142 (13.4%) of patients, with a mean time to PD of 2.6 ± 1.9 years. PD was associated with a 48% increased odds for mortality versus non-PD ICD patients during the mean follow-up time of 4.2 ± 3.4 years (adjusted odds ratio = 1.48 [95% confidence interval 1.080–2.042]; P = 0.015). Older age, a history of atrial fibrillation, amiodarone use, and secondary prevention were the strongest predictors for the development of PD.


In this single-center ICD cohort, the development of PD was not uncommon and was associated with decreased survival.