Clinically oriented device programming in bradycardia patients: part 1 (sinus node disease). Proposals from AIAC (Italian Association of Arrhythmology and Cardiac Pacing)


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Abstract

Modern pacemakers have an increasing number of programable parameters and specific algorithms designed to optimize pacing therapy in relation to the individual characteristics of patients. When choosing the most appropriate pacemaker type and programing, the following variables must be taken into account: the type of bradyarrhythmia at the time of pacemaker implantation; the cardiac chamber requiring pacing, and the percentage of pacing actually needed to correct the rhythm disorder; the possible association of multiple rhythm disturbances and conduction diseases; the evolution of conduction disorders during follow-up. The goals of device programing are to preserve or restore the heart rate response to metabolic and hemodynamic demands; to maintain physiological conduction; to maximize device longevity; to detect, prevent, and treat atrial arrhythmia. In patients with sinus node disease, the optimal pacing mode is DDDR. Based on all the available evidence, in this setting, we consider appropriate the activation of the following algorithms: rate responsive function in patients with chronotropic incompetence; algorithms to maximize intrinsic atrioventricular conduction in the absence of atrioventricular blocks; mode-switch algorithms; algorithms for autoadaptive management of the atrial pacing output; algorithms for the prevention and treatment of atrial tachyarrhythmias in the subgroup of patients with atrial tachyarrhythmias/atrial fibrillation. The purpose of this two-part consensus document is to provide specific suggestions (based on an extensive literature review) on appropriate pacemaker setting in relation to patients’ clinical features.

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