Clinical characteristics of patients intolerant to VVIR pacing


      The incidence and clinical predictors of the development of intolerance to VVIR pacing have not been extensively studied in prospective long-term randomized trials comparing different pacing modes. The frequency and clinical factors predicting intolerance to ventricular pacing are controversial. The Pacemaker Selection in the Elderly (PASE) Trial enrolled 407 patients aged ≥65 years in a 30-month, single-blind, randomized, controlled comparison of quality of life and clinical outcomes with ventricular pacing and dual-chamber pacing in patients undergoing dual-chamber pacemaker implantation for standard clinically accepted indications. We reviewed the clinical, hemodynamic, and electrophysiologic variables at the time of pacemaker implantation in 204 patients enrolled in the PASE trial and randomized to the VVIR mode, some of whom subsequently required crossover (reprogramming) to DDDR pacing. During a median follow-up of 555 days, 53 patients (26%) crossed over from VVIR to DDDR pacing. A decrease in systolic blood pressure during ventricular pacing at the time of pacemaker implantation (p = 0.001), use of β blockers at the time of randomization (p = 0.01), and nonischemic cardiomyopathy (p = 0.04) were the only variables that predicted crossover in the Cox multivariate regression model. After reprogramming to the dual-chamber mode, patients showed improvement in all aspects of quality of life, with significant improvements in physical and emotional role. The high incidence of crossover from VVIR to DDDR pacing along with significant improvements in quality of life after crossover to DDDR pacing strongly favors dual-chamber pacing compared with single-chamber ventricular pacing in elderly patients requiring permanent pacing.
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