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Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Feb;104(2):89-96. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2010.11.006. Epub 2011 Jan 22.

Outcome of patients aged over 75 years who received a pacemaker to treat sinus node dysfunction.

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Department of cardiology, centre hospitalier de Haguenau, 64, avenue du Pr Leriche, 67504 Haguenau cedex, France.



The prognosis for patients aged over 75 years who receive a pacemaker in the context of sinus node dysfunction is unclear.


We sought to evaluate the incidences of atrial fibrillation, heart failure and death in such patients, and the role of the pacing mode in their prognosis.


This was a retrospective study of 102 patients aged over 75 years (mean 82.2 ± 4.4 years) who received a pacemaker in the context of sinus node dysfunction.


During the follow-up period (mean 806 days), 36 patients (35.3%) experienced heart failure, 47 patients (46.1%) had an episode of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, 19 patients (18.6%) progressed to chronic atrial fibrillation and 29 (28.4%) died, the fatal event being sudden death or of cardiac origin in almost half of these patients (44.8%). Patients assigned to dual-chamber minimal ventricular pacing showed significantly lower rates of heart failure episodes (P=0.023) and all-cause mortality (P<0.001) than those assigned to conventional dual-chamber pacing. In contrast, the two groups did not differ with regard to either paroxysmal or chronic atrial fibrillation.


In patients aged over 75 years, the use of dual-chamber pacemakers incorporating an algorithm minimizing ventricular pacing for sinus node dysfunction seems to decrease the number of heart failure episodes and mortality. On the basis of this finding, the implantation of such devices seems justifiable, even in this age group.

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