Right ventricular pacing increases the risk of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in the long term. The effects of right ventricular pacing on paroxysmal AF (PAF) are unknown. The aim was to examine the effect of right ventricular pacing on AF burden (AFB) in patients with symptomatic drug-resistant PAF. Pooled analysis of pacemaker-derived counters and AF diagnostic data from the Atrial Fibrillation Therapy (AFT) and Pacemaker Atrial Fibrillation Suppression (PAFS) randomized anti-AF pacemaker algorithm trials were used. Five hundred and fifty-four patients from the AFT (n = 372) and PAFS (n = 182) were studied. The individual percentages of pacing, Atrial Sense Ventricular Pace (ASVP), Atrial Pace Ventricular Pace (APVP), and Atrial Pace Ventricular Sense (APVS) as well as total ventricular pacing during synchronous rhythm (VPinSR, %) were examined for an effect on AFB. Three hundred and twenty-one (AFT, age 64 +/- 11, 55% male) and 79 (PAFS, age 71 +/- 8, 54% male) patients had complete data for analysis. Increased VPinSR was weakly associated with an increased AFB (effect size-10% VPinSR increased AFB by only 0.03%) in AFT (P = 0.04) but not PAFS (P = 0.98) or the pooled analysis (P = 0.95). None of the synchronous paced modalities (ASVP, APVP, APVS) significantly increased AFB compared with sinus rhythm (Atrial Sense Ventricular Sense) (P = ns). No pacing modality, atrial or ventricular, had a significant effect on AFB. On the basis of these data, the detrimental effect of high-frequency right ventricular pacing on AFB in paced PAF patients, unlike with persistent AF, appears to be minimal in the short term.
- Right ventricular pacing
- Atrial fibrillation burden
- Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation