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[Atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation by DDD stimulation].

  • Fröhlig, G
  • Sen, S
  • Rettig, G
  • Schieffer, H
  • Bette, L
Published Article
Zeitschrift für Kardiologie
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1985
PMID: 4060830


136 patients were followed after implantation a DDD pacemaker (PM) for a total of 1,919 patient-months (m = 14.1 months/patient). 22/136 patients had one or more episodes of atrial flutter or fibrillation (AF) postoperatively. In 121/136 patients (group A) AF had not been documented before, in 4 it was unknown at the time of implantation, but was verified retrospectively (group B). 11 patients (group C) had a positive history of previous AF. Post implantation 7.4% in group A and 81.8% in group C developed AF. In patients with sick sinus syndrome (SSS) the incidence was 10/37 (27%), in those with AV block (AV) 6/77 (7.8%) and in cases with both SSS and AV 6/22 (27.3%). The first AF episode occurred during the implantation itself (n = 2) or during the hospital course in 9/22 patients (A: 11%, B/C: 64% early attacks), and later on in 13 with a time delay of 1-24 months (m = 8.5, 8 patients) in group A and 2-15 months (m = 6.6, 4 patients) in groups B/C. 2 patients of group C had no AF episodes post implantation. In the individual patient the number of attacks ranged from 1 to 3 (10.4/100 patient-months) in group A and from 1 to 6 (20.1/100 patient-months) in groups B/C. During AF 16/22 patients had a ventricular rate of 110-185, m = 132 bpm. In 6 patients the tachycardia was mediated by the PM and in 10 by fast intrinsic AV conduction. 1 patient with SSS, 2 with SSS + AV (spontaneous ventricular rate less than 45 bpm) and 3 with AV needed ventricular backup-pacing during AF. In 7 patients a total of 15 attacks of atrial flutter could be terminated by atrial overdrive pacing, in 5 of these episodes by temporary high rate A00 stimulation via the implanted pacemaker lead system. Otherwise AF was converted to sinus rhythm by antiarrhythmic drugs. After termination AF often recurred, but only 3 patients developed chronic atrial fibrillation. In 2 patients a ventricular rate greater than 180 bpm during AF reverted the PM to asynchronous mode, a possible cause of ventricular fibrillation in one. No other complications due to the PM itself have been encountered. AF, therefore, common during DDD pacing, even in patients without any AF history before implant. Both the incidence and the recurrence of AF depend on the presence or absence of previous atrial arrhythmias.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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