The Epidemic of Inadequate Biventricular Pacing in Patients With Persistent or Permanent Atrial Fibrillation and Its Association With MortalityCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
Background—We classified patients’ atrial fibrillation (AF), assessed its impact on biventricular pacing (BIVP%), and determined whether AF classification or BIVP% independently correlate with mortality in cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator patients.
Methods and Results—Cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator patients were classified as permanent (daily mean AF burden ≥23 hours), persistent (≥7 consecutive days of AF ≥23 hours/d), paroxysmal (≥1 day with AF ≥6 hours), or no/little AF (all others) using device-detected AF during the 6 months postimplant. We evaluated subsequent all-cause mortality using a multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression. Among 54 019 patients (age, 70±11 years; 73% male; follow-up, 2.3±1.2 years), 8% of patients each had permanent (N=4449), persistent (N=4237), and paroxysmal AF (N=4219). A high proportion of patients with permanent (69%) and persistent (62%) AF did not achieve high BIVP (>98%). Relative to no/little AF, patients with AF had increased mortality after adjusting for age, sex, BIVP, and shocks (permanent: hazard ratio=1.28 [1.19–1.38]; P<0.001; persistent: hazard ratio=1.51 [1.41–1.61]; P<0.001). Relative to patients with BIVP >98%, patients with reduced BIVP had increased mortality after adjusting for age, sex, AF, and shocks (90%–98%: hazard ratio=1.20 [1.15–1.26]; P<0.001; <90%: hazard ratio=1.32 [1.23–1.41]; P<0.001). High BIVP% was associated with the greatest mortality improvement in permanent AF among the AF classifications.
Conclusions—High BIVP% was not achieved in two thirds of 8686 patients with persistent or permanent AF, and these patients had an increased risk of death. A shift toward more aggressive rate control and more pacing may be necessary in patients with AF to maximize the benefits of cardiac resynchronization therapy.
- Received October 26, 2013.
- Accepted April 15, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.