Long-term mortality in patients with pauses in ventricular electrical activity.
BACKGROUND: The long-term significance of ventricular pauses of > or =3.0 seconds observed on Holter monitor is unclear, as previously conducted retrospective studies have been poorly controlled. We compared the prognosis of patients with pauses > or =3.0 seconds on Holter monitor with a well-matched control group without such pauses. METHODS: Scanning the Holter database at Ochsner Clinic (n = 11,730; January 1998 to June 2003) for pauses > or =3.0 seconds identified 70 patients (pause group). Of those, 29 (37.1%) received a permanent pacemaker (PPM group) and 41 (62.9%) did not (No-PPM group). For each No-PPM patient, two patients without pauses (<2.0 seconds) exactly matched for age, sex, ejection fraction (EF), rhythm, and duration of follow-up were randomly chosen from the Holter database (control group, n = 82) and survival of the two groups was compared. RESULTS: Mean age was 72.5 +/- 15.0 years, mean EF was 52.2 +/- 12.7%, and 68.3% were men. Mean follow-up was 2.2 years (0.5-4.5 years). There was no difference in survival between the No-PPM and the control groups (82.9% vs 84.1%, P = NS). Compared with the PPM group, pauses in the No-PPM group were more commonly asymptomatic, nocturnal, and due to sinus pauses or atrial fibrillation (AF) with slow ventricular response. CONCLUSIONS: Pauses in ventricular electrical activity > or =3 seconds on Holter monitor due to sinus pauses or AF with slow ventricular response are not predictive of heightened mortality.
Saba, MM; Donahue, TP; Panotopoulos, PTH; Ibrahim, SS; Abi-Samra, FM
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