Impact of dual-chamber pacing with closed loop stimulation on quality of life in patients with recurrent reflex vasovagal syncope: results of the SPAIN study

Europace. 2020 Feb 1;22(2):314-319. doi: 10.1093/europace/euz294.


Aims: Reflex vasovagal syncope (VVS) is the most common cause of syncope and patients with recurrent episodes may severely impair quality of life (QoL). This pre-specified analysis evaluated whether the clinically significant reduction in syncope burden demonstrated by dual-chamber pacing with closed loop stimulation (DDD-CLS) reported in the SPAIN trial translates into improved QoL.

Methods and results: Patients aged ≥40 years with ≥5 VVS episodes and cardioinhibitory response induced by head-up tilt testing were included. Patients were randomized 1:1 to active DDD-CLS pacing algorithm for 12 months followed by sham DDI mode for the remaining 12 months (Group A) or vice versa (Group B). QoL was assessed using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) health survey, Physical Component Score (PCS), and Mental Component Score (MCS) before randomization (baseline) and at 12- and 24-month follow-up. Fifty-four patients were enrolled from 11 participating centres. No significant carryover effect was detected for any variable, and the only period effect was observed in the vitality subdomain (P = 0.033). Mean SF-36 scores were higher in the DDD-CLS group vs. the DDI group for the eight subdomains and significantly different in physical role, bodily pain, and vitality (P < 0.05). The analysis of component summary scores indicated that DDD-CLS benefited both mental and physical components with significant differences in PCS when compared with the DDI group.

Conclusion: Dual-chamber pacing with closed loop stimulation determined a significant and clinically relevant improvement in QoL across both mental and physical components in patients with recurrent VVS.

Registration: Closed Loop Stimulation for Neuromediated Syncope (SPAIN Study); NCT01621464.

Keywords: Closed loop stimulation; Quality of life; SF-36; Vasovagal syncope.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recurrence
  • Reflex
  • Spain
  • Syncope, Vasovagal* / diagnosis
  • Syncope, Vasovagal* / therapy

Associated data