Predictors of stroke in patients paced for sick sinus syndrome

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 May 5;43(9):1617-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2003.09.067.


Objectives: This study was an analysis of factors associated with stroke in a population of patients paced for sinus node dysfunction in a large prospective clinical trial (Mode Selection Trial [MOST]).

Background: The effects of dual-chamber versus single-chamber ventricular pacing on subsequent stroke in patients with sinus node dysfunction are not known.

Methods: A total of 2,010 patients with sinus node dysfunction were randomized to ventricular or dual-chamber pacing and followed for a median of 33.1 months.

Results: The median participant age was 74 years. During 5,664 patient-years of follow-up, 90 strokes (11 hemorrhagic) occurred. By life-table analysis, the rate of stroke was 2.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6 to 2.9) at one year and 5.8% (95% CI 4.5 to 7.1) at four years. The incidence of stroke was not significantly different in dual-chamber (4%) as compared with ventricular-paced patients (4.9%) (hazard ratio [HR] 0.82, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.25, p = 0.36). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that significant predictors of stroke included prior stroke or transient ischemic attack, Caucasian race, hypertension, prior systemic embolism, and New York Heart Association functional class III or IV (p < 0.05); pacing mode remained non-significant after adjustment for these factors (p = 0.37). Clinically reported atrial fibrillation after implantation was a risk factor for stroke in this cohort after adjustment for other predictors of stroke (p = 0.042, HR 1.68 [95% CI 1.02 to 2.76]).

Conclusions: Clinical characteristics, but not mode of pacing, were associated with subsequent stroke in patients paced for sinus node dysfunction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pacemaker, Artificial
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / therapy*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Warfarin
  • Aspirin