Atrial versus ventricular pacing in sinus node disease: a treatment comparison study

Am Heart J. 1986 Feb;111(2):292-7. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(86)90142-0.


Treatment with conventional ventricular pacing does not seem to influence the natural course in patients with sinus node disease (SND). In the present study the natural course of SND was compared in patients treated with ventricular (VVI) and those treated with atrial (AAI) pacing. The study population comprised 168 patients, 89 with atrial and 79 with ventricular pacing. The two groups were comparable with respect to clinical characteristics, degree of severity of SND, and length of follow-up period (average 2 years). Development of chronic atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure was significantly more common in patients with ventricular than in those with atrial pacing (30% vs 4%, p less than 0.001; 23% vs 7%, p less than 0.01). Second-degree atrioventricular block developed in 4% of the atrially paced patients. Thus, atrial pacing is apparently superior to ventricular pacing in patients with SND.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Atria
  • Heart Block / etiology
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial* / adverse effects
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / therapy*