Bradycardia Pacing-Induced Short-Long-Short Sequences at the Onset of Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias. A Possible Mechanism of Proarrhythmia?

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Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to characterize interactions between normal pacing system operation and the initiating sequence of ventricular tachycardia (VT)/ventricular fibrillation (VF). Background: Abrupt changes in ventricular cycle lengths (short-long-short, S-L-S) might initiate VT/VF. The S-L-S sequences might be passively permitted or actively facilitated by bradycardia pacing. Methods: Initiating sequences of 1,356 VT/VF episodes in the PainFree Rx II (n = 634) and EnTrust Trial (n = 421) were analyzed with stored electrograms and by pacing mode (DDD/R, VVI/R, and Managed Ventricular Pacing [MVP]). Interactions between pacing and VT/VF initiation were classified as: non-pacing associated, pacing associated, pacing permitted, and pacing facilitated. Results: Non-pacing associated (no pacing, no S-L-S) and pacing associated (ventricular pacing without S-L-S) onset accounted for 44.0% and 29.8% of all VT/VF, respectively. Pacing permitted (S-L-S sequences without ventricular pacing) episodes accounted for 6.4% (DDD/R), 20.0% (MVP), and 25.6% (VVI/R) of 1,356 VT/VF episodes. Pacing facilitated onset (S-L-S sequences actively facilitated by ventricular pacing including the terminal beat after a pause) accounted for 8.2% (MVP), 9.4% (VVI/R), and 14.8% (DDD/R) of 1,356 VT/VF episodes. Pacing facilitated S-L-S VT/VF occurred in 2.6% (MVP), 3.3% (VVI/R), and 5.2% (DDD/R) of patients with episodes and was the sole initiating sequence in approximately 1% of patients. Pause durations during pacing facilitated S-L-S differed between modes (DDD/R 793 ± 172 ms vs. MVP 865 ± 278 ms vs. VVI/R 1180 ± 414 ms, p = 0.002). The majority of these episodes were monomorphic VT. Conclusions: Ventricular tachycardia/VF in some implantable cardioverter-defibrillator patients might be initiated by S-L-S sequences that are actively facilitated by bradycardia pacing operation and might constitute an important mechanism of ventricular proarrhythmia. © 2007 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

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Sweeney, M. O., Ruetz, L. L., Belk, P., Mullen, T. J., Johnson, J. W., & Sheldon, T. (2007). Bradycardia Pacing-Induced Short-Long-Short Sequences at the Onset of Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias. A Possible Mechanism of Proarrhythmia? Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 50(7), 614–622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2007.02.077

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