Comparative Study
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Prevention of ventricular desynchronization by permanent para-Hisian pacing after atrioventricular node ablation in chronic atrial fibrillation: a crossover, blinded, randomized study versus apical right ventricular pacing.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to evaluate the feasibility, the safety, and hemodynamic improvements induced by permanent para-Hisian pacing in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation and narrow QRS who underwent atrioventricular (AV) node ablation.

BACKGROUND: Right ventricular apical pacing, inducing asynchronous ventricular contraction, may impair cardiac function; permanent para-Hisian pacing could preserve interventricular synchrony and improve left ventricular function.

METHODS: After AV node ablation, 16 patients were implanted with a dual-chamber pacemaker connected to a screw-in lead positioned in close proximity to the His bundle and to a right ventricular apical lead. Clinical and echocardiographic data were collected at baseline and after two randomized six-month periods (with para-Hisian and conventional pacing).

RESULTS: During para-Hisian pacing, the interventricular electromechanical delay improved as well (34 +/- 18 ms) as during right apical pacing (47 +/- 19 ms), p < 0.05. Para-Hisian pacing allowed an improvement in New York Heart Association functional class (1.75 +/- 0.4 vs. 2.33 +/- 0.6 at baseline and 2.5 +/- 0.4 during apical pacing, p < 0.05 for both), in quality-of-life score (16.2 +/- 8.7 vs. 32.5 +/- 15.0 at baseline, p < 0.05), and in the 6-min walk test (431 +/- 73 m vs. 378 +/- 60 m at baseline and 360 +/- 71 m during apical pacing, p < 0.5 for both). Mitral and tricuspid regurgitation improved during para-Hisian pacing (1.22 +/- 0.8 and 1.46 +/- 0.5 index, respectively, vs. 1.68 +/- 0.6 [p < 0.05] and 1.62 +/- 0.7 [p = NS] index at baseline, respectively), with a slight worsening during apical pacing (1.93 +/- 1 and 1.93 +/- 0.7 index, respectively, p < 0.05 for both).

CONCLUSIONS: Permanent para-Hisian pacing is feasible and safe. Compared with conventional right apical pacing, it allows an improvement in functional and hemodynamic parameters over long-term follow-up.

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