Background: Degenerative aortic valve stenosis (AS) is associated with conduction abnormalities. Pacemaker implantation is encountered after surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). Not much is known about the pacemaker implantation rate during midterm follow-up after SAVR. Our objectives were to determine the incidence of permanent pacemaker implantation (PPI) in the midterm after SAVR in a tertiary care facility. Methods: We reviewed procedural data of 734 consecutive patients (56% men; mean age, 68.9 ± 9.5 years) with degenerative severe AS who underwent SAVR between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2008. Perioperative electrocardiograms were assessed for occurrence of conduction abnormalities, and we sought to determine the incidence and indication for PPI with a median follow-up of 3.76 years (interquartile range, 2.44 to 5.59 years). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were applied to identify predictors for early (≤ 30 days) and late (> 30 days) PPI. Results: Isolated SAVR was performed in 56%, SAVR with coronary artery bypass grafting in 35%, and SAVR with any other valve therapy in 5.8%. Complete bundle branch block (BBB) was present in 7% and first-degree atrioventricular block in 11%. New BBBs were detected in 63 patients (8.6%). Fifteen patients (2.0%) required a PPI within 30 days after SAVR, and 28 (4.0%) underwent PPI more than 30 days after SAVR. The linearized rate of PPI after SAVR was 1.01% ± 0.37% per patient-year. Patients with BBB at baseline had a higher PPI incidence after SAVR than patients without BBB, both within 30 days (8% vs 1.5%, p = 0.001) and after 30 days (10% vs 2.9%, p = 0.006). PPI incidence after 30 days was also significantly higher in patients with a new BBB after SAVR (7.8% vs 2.9%, p = 0.038). By multivariate logistic regression analysis, BBB and the combination of AS and regurgitation predicted PPI within 30 days after SAVR (hazard ratio [HR], 470; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.55 to 14.27; and HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.03 to 1.73, respectively). BBB (HR, 3.26; 95% CI, 1.41 to 7.54), previous cardiac operation (HR, 3.40; 95% CI, 1.16 to 9.94), and severe left ventricular dysfunction (HR, 9.82; 95% CI, 2.90 to 33.26) were predictors for PPI after 30 days post-SAVR. Conclusions: Patients with severe AS who underwent SAVR have a persistent 1% annual risk for PPI. Postoperative presence of BBB predicted the need for PPI both within 30 days and after 30 days after SAVR.,
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Mieghem, N., Head, S., van Domburg, R., de Jong, W., Serruys, P., de Jaegere, P., … Kappetein, A. P. (2012). Persistent annual permanent pacemaker implantation rate after surgical aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic stenosis. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery (Vol. 94, pp. 1143–1149). doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.04.038