Quality-of-life in patients treated with atrioventricular synchronous pacing compared to rate modulated ventricular pacing: a long-term, double-blind, crossover study

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1992 Oct;15(10 Pt 1):1467-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8159.1992.tb02920.x.


To investigate whether the preservation of atrioventricular (AV) synchronization matters for quality-of-life during pacemaker treatment we assessed 17 consecutive patients with high degree AV block and preserved sinus node function in a double-blind, long-term crossover study. A questionnaire with regard to cardiovascular symptoms, sleep disturbances, cognitive functioning, physical ability, social interaction, emotional functioning, and self-perceived health was completed after 2 months of atrial synchronous (DDD) and rate modulated ventricular pacing (VVI,R), respectively. A significant improvement in shortness of breath, dizziness and palpitations as well as an improvement of cognitive functioning was observed during DDD pacing. Nine patients preferred the DDD mode and three the VVI,R mode. The remaining five patients did not express any preference. The preference for the DDD mode was explained by a significant reduction of cardiovascular symptoms and an improved self-perceived health, physical ability, and psychological well-being during DDD pacing. All differences in quality-of-life parameters between the two modes of pacing favored the DDD mode and no adverse effects of this mode were found. Thus, the maintenance of AV synchrony adds further symptomatic relief compared to rate increase alone. The results indicate that DDD pacing is the preferred mode of pacing in patients with high degree AV block and preserved sinus node function.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / methods*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Block / epidemiology
  • Heart Block / psychology
  • Heart Block / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors