AV timing in pacemaker patients with first-degree AV block: which is preferable, intrinsic AV conduction or pacing?

Yoshihiro Aizawa, Toshiko Nakai, Yukitoshi Ikeya, Rikitake Kogawa, Yuki Saito, Kazuto Toyama, Tetsuro Yumikura, Naoto Otsuka, Koichi Nagashima, Yasuo Okumura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Some patients with pacemakers present with first-degree atrioventricular (AV) block. To avoid right ventricular (RV) pacing, preserving intrinsic AV conduction as much as possible is recommended. However, there is no clear cutoff AV interval to determine whether intrinsic AV conduction should be preserved or RV pacing should be delivered. This study aimed to compare a pacing mode-preserving, intrinsic AV conduction with the DDD mode delivering RV pacing in terms of echocardiographic parameters in patients with first-degree AV block and to investigate whether RV pacing induces heart failure (HF). Stroke volume (SV) was measured to determine the optimal AV delay with the intrinsic AV conduction rhythm and the DDD pacing delivering RV pacing. Echocardiographic evaluation was performed for 6-month follow-up period. Seventeen patients were studied. At baseline, mean intrinsic PQ interval was 250 ± 40 ms. SV was greater with RV pacing with optimal AV delay of 160 ms than with intrinsic AV conduction rhythm in all patients. Therefore, pacemakers were set to the DDD to deliver RV pacing. During follow-up, seven patients developed HF. Mean baseline E/E′ ratio in patients who developed HF (HF group) during RV pacing was higher than in patients without HF (non = HF group; 17.9 ± 8 versus 11.5 ± 2, P = 0.018) Even within HF group patients without a high baseline E/E′ ratio, it increased with RV pacing (22.2 ± 6 versus 11.6 ± 2; P < 0.001). In patients with pacemaker and first-degree AV block, RV pacing with the optimal AV delay of 160 ms increased SV. However, the risk of HF may be increased with RV pacing if the E/Eʹ ratio is > 15 during intrinsic AV conduction or RV pacing. RV pacing should be avoided in patients with high E/Eʹ ratio under intrinsic AV conduction or RV pacing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1411-1417
Number of pages7
JournalHeart and Vessels
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Diastolic function
  • Heart failure
  • Long atrioventricular conduction
  • Optimal atrioventricular delay
  • Right ventricular pacing


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