Is a pacemaker indicated for vasovagal patients with severe cardioinhibitory reflex as identified by the ATP test?. A preliminary randomized trial

D. Flammang, M. Antiel, T. Church, A. Chassing, D. Hamani, E. Donal, M. Waynberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background A previous observational study suggested that, in syncopal elderly patients with vasovagal syndrome, a test using adenosine-5′-triphosphate (intravenous ATP 20mg. 2ml-1) could identify a subgroup of patients at high risk of severe cardioinhibitory response and guide the therapeutic strategy. To test one aspect of these results prospectively, we designed a small study focusing only on vasovagal patients with abnormal response to ATP testing. Methods Twenty patients hospitalized for syncope, which was considered to be vasovagal, and exhibiting an abnormal ATP test - defined by a longer than 10s cardiac pause - were randomized to two groups: half to implan-tation with a dual-chamber pacemaker and half to usual medical care. All patients who were not hospitalized for recurrences were assessed every 6 months in the clinic or by telephone. Results At baseline, the randomized patient groups were similar in their demographic and health characteristics and in the results of their ATP tests, for example the mean cardiac pause (21·4±9·3 vs 15·9±3·7s) and the mean interval between escape beats during the pause (7·29±4·2 vs 7·48±3·3s). During a mean follow-up of 52 months, recurrences appeared in six of the 10 usual-care patients (range 0·2-29 months) but in none of the implanted patients (P<0·02). Conclusions This limited trial (1) supports the conclusion that patients with an abnormal ATP test who receive a dual-chamber pacemaker suffer fewer recurrences than those who are monitored only; and (2) consequently further supports the hypothesis that, among vasovagal patients, a cardiac pause of longer than 10s in patients administered ATP identifies those at high risk of symptomatic vagal cardiac inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalEuropace
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999

Keywords

  • ATP
  • Neuro-cardiogenic syncope
  • Pacemaker
  • Randomized trial
  • Syncope
  • Vasovagal syndrome

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