Recovery of atrioventricular conduction in patients with heart block after transcatheter aortic valve replacement

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Recovery of conduction has been demonstrated in >50% of patients who receive pacemakers (PPMs) for high-degree atrioventricular block (HD-AVB) after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Little information is available about the time course of conduction recovery in these patients and if any features predict early recovery of conduction.


A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent TAVR with balloon and self-expanding valves who required PPMs for HD-AVB. Serial PPM interrogations were analyzed to detect recovery of AV conduction. Analysis was performed to identify predictors and timing of conduction recovery.


Of a total population of 578 patients, 54 (9%) received PPMs for HD-AVB. In multivariate analysis, predictors of HD-AVB requiring a PPM included age (P = 0.014), right bundle branch block (OR 7.33 [3.64–14.8], P < 0.0001), atrial fibrillation (OR 2.16 [1.16–4.05], P = 0.016), and self-expanding valves (OR 4.19 [2.20–7.97], P < 0.0001). Of the 54 patients who received PPMs, 38 had follow-up sufficient to evaluate AV conduction recovery. Of these, 23 (61%) showed recovery of AV nodal conduction; 20 had already recovered by their first interrogation, a median of 22 days (IQR 14–31) post-PPM placement. There were no statistically significant predictors of AV nodal conduction recovery, including type of valve implanted.


A majority of patients who receive PPMs for HD-AVB after TAVR recover AV conduction during follow­up, and in most patients conduction recovery occurs within weeks. These findings imply that programming to minimize ventricular pacing may be beneficial in a majority of these patients.

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