Long-term mortality and pacing outcomes of patients with permanent pacemaker implantation after cardiac surgery

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61 Scopus citations


Background: Approximately 20,000 permanent pacemakers (PPMs) are implanted annually for bradycardia or atrioventricular (AV) block after cardiac surgery. Little is known about the long-term pacing and mortality outcomes and the temporal trends of these patients. Methods: We examined 6,268 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac surgery at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center between 1987 and 2010. Patients who had a PPM within 30 days of cardiac surgery were identified. Pacemaker interrogation records were retrospectively reviewed and mortality was ascertained. Results: Overall, 141 (2.2%) patients underwent PPM implantation for high-degree AV block (55%) and bradycardia (45%), 9 ± 6 days after surgery. Age, diuretic use, cardiopulmonary bypass time (CPBT), and valve surgery were independent predictors of PPM requirement. After 5.6 ± 4.2 years of follow-up, 40% of the patients were PPM dependent. Longer CPBT (P = 0.03), PR interval >200 ms (P = 0.03), and QRS interval > 120 ms (P = 0.04) on baseline electrocardiogram predicted PPM dependency. In univariable analysis, PPM patients had a higher long-term mortality than those without PPM (45% vs 36%; P = 0.02). However, after adjusting for age, sex, type of surgery, and CPBT, PPM requirement was not associated with long-term mortality (hazard ratio 1.3; 95% confidence interval 0.9-1.9; P = 0.17). Compared to before, incidence of PPM implantation increased after the year 2000 (1.9% vs 2.6%; P = 0.04). Conclusion: The majority of patients who require PPM after cardiac surgery are not PPM dependent in the long term. Requiring a PPM after surgery is not associated with long-term mortality after adjustment for patient-related risk factors and cardiac surgical procedure. (PACE 2011; 34:331-338)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • cardiac surgery
  • mortality
  • outcomes
  • pacemaker


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