JOURNAL ARTICLE

Right ventricular pacing can induce ventricular dyssynchrony in patients with atrial fibrillation after atrioventricular node ablation

Laurens F Tops, Martin J Schalij, Eduard R Holman, Lieselot van Erven, Ernst E van der Wall, Jeroen J Bax
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2006 October 17, 48 (8): 1642-8
17045901

OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to assess the effects of long-term right ventricular (RV) pacing on left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony, LV function, and heart failure symptoms.

BACKGROUND: Atrioventricular (AV) node ablation and subsequent long-term RV pacing is a well-established treatment option in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

METHODS: In 55 patients with drug-refractory AF, AV node ablation and implantation of a pacemaker was performed. At baseline and after a mean of 3.8 +/- 1.7 years, LV dyssynchrony (by M-mode echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging), LV function, and volumes and functional status were assessed.

RESULTS: After long-term RV pacing, 27 patients (49%) had developed LV dyssynchrony. Concomitantly, these patients worsened in heart failure symptoms (New York Heart Association functional class increased from 1.8 +/- 0.6 to 2.2 +/- 0.7, p < 0.05), with a decrease in LV ejection fraction (from 48 +/- 7% to 43 +/- 7%, p < 0.05) and an increase in LV end-diastolic volume (from 116 +/- 39 ml to 130 +/- 52 ml, p < 0.05). Conversely, patients without LV dyssynchrony did not deteriorate in heart failure symptoms, LV function, or LV volumes.

CONCLUSIONS: Long-term RV pacing can induce LV dyssynchrony in almost 50% of patients treated with AV node ablation for chronic AF. The development of LV dyssynchrony was associated with deterioration in heart failure symptoms, systolic LV function, and LV dilatation.

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