AIM: Young patients with operated complex congenital heart defects (CHD) often develop sinus node dysfunction (SND) requiring permanent pacing with rate-responsive function. Activity-driven sensors cannot account for nonmovement stress and cannot modulate heart rate physiologically. Closed Loop Stimulation (CLS, Biotronik, Berlin, Germany) is a physiological rate-responsive pacemaker based on the indirect measure of ventricular contractility. No data are available on the effects of such pacing strategy in young patients.
METHODS: We report a series of nine patients with CHD and SND who underwent single-chamber CLS-atrial pacing with endocardial or epicardial lead. During the first 30 days, the pacemaker was programmed in AAI pacing mode and then was switched to CLS-atrial pacing mode. An in-hospital control was scheduled 1-2 months later to evaluate the CLS response to neurovegetative stresses (i.e., nonmovement stress [Stroop color test, handgrip] and exercise stress test) and Holter monitor. CLS pacing was compared with rate-responsive accelerometer-driven pacing (AAIR).
RESULTS: At telemetric interrogation, CLS pacing showed a more physiological pattern of 24-h heart rate trends than accelerometer sensors. The data obtained during nonmovement/exercise stress demonstrated a physiological increase in the pacing rate with CLS, in synergy with spontaneous events. The accelerometer sensor histogram, during nonmovement stress, showed a "nonresponse" behavior (only lower rate events), and during exercise test showed most events in lower rate range. Holter monitoring showed increase of average and maximum heart rate compared with AAIR.
CONCLUSION: In young CHD patients, endocardial/epicardial CLS-atrial pacing demonstrated a physiological response of heart rate to neurovegetative and physical stresses.