Interatrial septum pacing: a new approach to prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation

J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 1999 Mar;3(1):35-43. doi: 10.1023/a:1009867305678.


Background: There are a variety of approaches to the prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF) with pacing. Aim of this study was to test the safety and feasibility of interatrial septum pacing at the posterior triangle of Koch for AF prevention and to exclude potential arrhythmic effects.

Material and methods: Interatrial septum pacing was performed in 34 patients (21 males, 13 females, mean age 69 +/- 12 years): 9 without a history and clinical evidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) (6 with sinus bradycardia, 2 with second-degree AV block, and 1 with carotid sinus hypersensitivity) and 25 with sinus bradycardia and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) (mean symptomatic episodes/month 6.2 +/- 10). In all patients a screw-in bipolar lead was positioned in the interatrial septum superiorly to the coronary sinus.

Results: At implant the mean P wave amplitude was 2.5 +/- 1.5 mV, the pacing threshold was 1 +/- 0.6 V and the impedance was 907 +/- 477 Ohm. Mean P wave duration was 118 +/- 17 ms in sinus rhythm and 82 +/- 15 during interatrial septum pacing (p < 0.001). During a mean follow-up period of 10 +/- 7 months, no patients without atrial tachyarrhythmias before implantation experienced AF. During a 9 +/- 6 months follow-up we observed only 2 symptomatic arrhythmia recurrences between AF patients (mean symptomatic episodes/month 0.006 +/- 0.0022) (p < 0.01 vs before implant period).

Conclusions: Our data indicate that interatrial septal pacing is safe and feasible. A significant less incidence of arrhythmic episodes has been observed during follow-up. Further controlled randomized prospective studies are necessary to establish the exact role of this technique respect to conventional or multisite stimulation when patients with paroxysmal AF need to be permanently paced.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnostic imaging
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / prevention & control*
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / methods*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Rate
  • Heart Septum*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome