Journal Article

Bipolar atrial sensing thresholds in sinus rhythm and atrial tachyarrhythmias

J. Neuzner, J. Sperzel, H. F. Pitschner, T. Schwarz, W. Ehrlich, B. Schulte and W. Haberbosch

in EP Europace

Published on behalf of European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

Volume 1, issue 2, pages 135-139
Published in print April 1999 | ISSN: 1099-5129
Published online April 1999 | e-ISSN: 1532-2092 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/eupc.1998.0028
Bipolar atrial sensing thresholds in sinus rhythm and atrial tachyarrhythmias

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Automatic mode switching (AMS) function in dual chamber pacemakers depends on adequate detection of atrial tachyarrhythmias. There are few data on showing how intra-operative atrial signal amplititude during sinus rhythm can predict atrial tachyarrhythmias after pacemaker implantation. In 43 patients undergoing DDDR pacemaker implantation and atrioventricular nodal ablation for the treatment of drug-refractory paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, atrial sensing thresholds during sinus rhythm and during induced atrial tachyarrhythmias (24–48 h after device implantation) were analysed. Five different DDDR pacemaker systems were implanted (Chorus 7034|Pt, Ela Medical n=13; Meta DDDR 1254|Pt, Telectronics Pacing Systems n=12; Vigor DR 1230|Pt, Guidant n=6; Trilogy DR 2364|Pt, Pacesetter, n=2; Kappa DR 401|Pt, Medtronic USA n=10). Every patient received a steroid-eluting, screw-in, bipolar atrial lead (Medtronic, Capsure-Fix 4068|Pt). The mean P wave amplitude during implantation was 3·91±1·14 mV. The mean atrial sensing threshold during sinus rhythm and during all modes of induced atrial tachy-arrhythmias was 3·35±1·0 mV, and 1·52±0·92 mV, respectively (P<0·001). Atrial fibrillation was induced in 36 patients. The mean sensing threshold during sinus rhythm in this patient group was 3·39±1·01 mV, the mean sensing threshold during atrial fibrillation was 1·27±0·56 mV, reflecting a 63% reduction of sensing threshold compared with sinus rhythm (P<0·001). Atrial flutter was induced in seven patients. The mean sensing threshold during sinus rhythm was 2·92±1·19 mV, the mean sensing threshold during atrial flutter was 2·79±1·26 mV, reflecting a reduction of 5% (ns) compared with sinus rhythm. Atrial sensing thresholds during sinus rhythm were significantly correlated with sensing thresholds during atrial tachyarrhythmias (r=0·44;P<0·002), but there were significant variations in intra-individual results. The reduction of atrial sensing thresholds between sinus rhythm and induced atrial tachyarrhythmias ranged from 30% to 82%.

Conclusion

Bipolar atrial sensing thresholds during sinus rhythm are correlated with sensing thresholds during atrial tachyarrhythmias, but there is a large degree of variance in individual patients. A 4:1 to 5:1 atrial sensing safety margin based on sensing threshold during sinus rhythm is a predictor for adequate postoperative detection of atrial tachyarrhythmias and the function of AMS devices.

Keywords: Bipolar atrial sensing thresholds; automatic mode switch; atrial tachyarrhythmias; dual chamber pacing

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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