Korean Circ J.  2020 Apr;50(4):346-357. 10.4070/kcj.2019.0268.

Permanent Pacemaker Implantations after Catheter Ablation in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation Associated with Underlying Sinus Node Dysfunction

  • 1Department of Cardiology, Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Korea. hnpak@yuhs.ac


The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term clinical outcomes and the incidence of permanent pacemaker implantation after catheter ablation in patients with of atrial fibrillation (AF) and sinus node dysfunction (SND).
Among 3,068 total consecutive patients who underwent AF catheter ablation (AFCA), this study included 222 (9.5%; men 53.2%, 63.7±9.2 years of age, 81.5% paroxysmal AF) with underlying SND and a regular rhythm follow-up. We analyzed the rhythm outcomes, changes in the mean heart rate or heart rate variability, and permanent pacemaker implantation rate.
During 47.5±28.8 months of follow-up, 25 (11.3%) patients received pacemaker implantations due to symptomatic SND. More than half (56.0%, 14/25) underwent a pacemaker implantation within 3 months of the AFCA, and the annual pacemaker implantation rate was 2.0% afterwards. Both the early (68.0% vs. 31.0%, p<0.001) and clinical AF recurrence (68.0% vs. 32.5%, p=0.001) rates and continuous antiarrhythmic drug use after 3 months (44.0% vs. 24.4%, p=0.036) were significantly higher in patients requiring pacemaker implantations than those that did not. An anterior linear ablation (odds ratio [OR], 9.37 [3.03–28.9]; p<0.001) and the E/Em (OR, 1.15 [1.02–1.28]; p=0.018) were independently associated with permanent pacemaker implantations after AFCA in patients with AF and SND.
After AFCA in patients with AF and SND, 1 of 9 patients needed a pacemaker implantation and half needed implantations within 3 months. The AF recurrence rate was significantly higher in those who required pacemaker implantations after the AFCA.


Sinus node dysfunction; Atrial fibrillation; Catheter ablation; Pacemaker, artificial
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