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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1992 Jun;15(6):905-15.

A double-blind study of submaximal exercise tolerance and variation in paced rate in atrial synchronous compared to activity sensor modulated ventricular pacing.

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Department of Cardiology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


To assess the variation in paced rate during everyday activity and the importance of atrioventricular synchronization (AV synchrony) for submaximal exercise tolerance, atrial synchronous (DDD) and activity rate modulated ventricular (VVI,R) pacing were compared in 17 patients with high degree AV block. The patients were randomly assigned to either mode and evaluated by treadmill exercise to moderate exertion and by 24-hour Holter monitoring after 2 months in the DDD and VVI,R modes, respectively. At the end of the study, the patients were programmed to the pacing mode corresponding to the preferred study period. During the treadmill test, the mean exercise time to submaximal exertion (Borg 5/10), exertion ratings and respiratory rate did not differ between pacing modes despite a significantly lower ventricular rate in the VVI,R mode. The atrial rate during VVI,R pacing was significantly higher than the ventricular rate, but did not differ from the ventricular rate during DDD pacing. There was a diurnal variation in paced rate in both pacing modes. Paced ventricular rate was, however, higher and variation in paced rate greater in DDD compared to VVI,R pacing. Nine patients preferred the DDD mode, three patients preferred the VVI,R mode, while five subjects did not express any preference. The results from this study indicate that the variation in paced rate during activity sensor-driven VVI,R pacing does not match that during DDD pacing neither during everyday activities nor during submaximal treadmill exercise. Nevertheless, no differences in exercise time, Borg ratings, and respiratory rate during submaximal exercise were found. Thus, for most patients with high degree AV block, DDD and VVI,R pacing seem equally satisfactory for submaximal exercise.

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