Background: The incidence of sick sinus syndrome will increase due to population ageing. Consequently, this will result in an increase in the number of pacemaker implantations. The atrial lead is usually implanted in the right atrial appendage, but this position may be ineffective for prevention of atrial fibrillation. It has been suggested that pacing distally in the coronary sinus might be more successful in preventing atrial fibrillation episodes. The aim of this trial is to study the efficacy of distal coronary sinus versus right atrial appendage pacing in preventing atrial fibrillation episodes in patients with sick sinus syndrome.
Methods/Design: This study is designed as a multicenter, randomized controlled trial. Patients with sick sinus syndrome and at least one atrial fibrillation episode of 30 seconds or more in the six months before recruitment will be eligible for participation in this study.
Discussion: This randomized controlled trial is the first in which home monitoring will be used to compare atrial fibrillation recurrences between pacing in the distal coronary sinus or right atrial appendage. Home monitoring gives the opportunity to accurately detect atrial fibrillation episodes and to study characteristics of atrial fibrillation episodes. Should distal coronary sinus pacing significantly diminish atrial fibrillation recurrences, this study will redefine the preferential location of an atrial lead for preventive pacing.

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Department of Cardiology

Ramdjan, T., van der Does, L., Knops, S., Res, J., & de Groot, N. (2014). Right versus left atrial pacing in patients with sick sinus syndrome and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (Riverleft study). Trials, 15(1). doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-445