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Europace. 2014 Jan;16(1):63-70. doi: 10.1093/europace/eut217. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

Exercise capacity and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels with biventricular vs. right ventricular pacing for atrioventricular block: results from the PREVENT-HF German Substudy.

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Charité - Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), Lindenberger Weg 80, 13125 Berlin, Germany.



Previous studies showed unfavourable effects of right ventricular (RV) pacing. Ventricular pacing (VP), however, is required in many patients with atrioventricular (AV) block. The PREVENT-HF study explored left ventricular (LV) remodelling during RV vs. biventricular (BIV) pacing in AV block without advanced heart failure. The pre-specified PREVENT-HF German Substudy examined exercise capacity and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP).


Patients with expected VP ≥80% were randomized to RV or BIV pacing. Endpoints were peak oxygen uptake (pVO2), oxygen uptake at the anaerobic threshold (VO2AT), ventilatory efficiency (VE/VCO2), and logNT-proBNP. Considering crossover, intention to treat (ITT), and on-treatment (OT) analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were performed. For exercise testing 44 (RV: 25, BIV: 19), and for NT-proBNP 53 patients (RV: 29, BIV: 24) were included. The ITT analysis revealed significant differences in pVO2 [ANCOVA effect 2.83 mL/kg/min, confidence interval (CI) 0.83-4.91, P = 0.007], VO2AT (ANCOVA effect 2.14 mL/min/k, CI 0.14-4.15, P = 0.03), and VE/VCO2 (ANCOVA effect -5.46, CI -10.79 to -0.13, P = 0.04) favouring BIV randomization. The significant advantage in pVO2 persisted in OT analysis, while VO2AT and VE/VCO2 showed trends favouring BIV pacing. LogNT-proBNP did not differ between groups. (ITT: ANCOVA effect 0.008, CI -0.40 to +0.41, P = 0.97; OT: ANCOVA effect -0.03, CI -0.44 to 0.30, P = 0.90).


Our study suggests that BIV pacing produces better exercise capacity over 1 year compared with RV pacing in patients without advanced heart failure and AV block. In contrast, we observed no significant changes of NT-proBNP. Larger trials will allow appraising the clinical usefulness of BIV pacing in AV block. Identifier: NCT00170326.


Atrioventricular block; Biventricular pacing; Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Exercise testing; Heart failure; N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP); Right ventricular pacing

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