Contact: Rachel Cagan, rcagan@acc.org, 202-375-6395

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2012 – The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), today released the HRS/ACCF Expert Consensus Statement on Pacemaker Device and Mode Selection. The expert consensus statement was developed in collaboration with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, endorsed by the American Heart Association, and published online today as part of the August edition of HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, as well as the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The statement is the first of its kind to specifically address pacemaker device and mode selection, expanding upon the ACC/AHA/HRS 2008 guidelines for device-based therapy of cardiac rhythm abnormalities.

The new statement provides a state-of-the-art review of the field and reports consensus recommendations on pacemaker device and mode selection. It is a guide to facilitate the appropriate use of single vs. dual-chamber devices for patients who already meet guidelines for pacemaker implantation when a clinical decision for pacing has been made. It includes recommendations for conditions for which there is evidence or general agreement that a given pacing mode is beneficial, useful and effective. This includes conditions for which there is conflicting evidence about the usefulness of a specific pacing mode. 

Approximately 400,000 devices are implanted each year in the United States, and there are currently more than three million patients with implanted cardiac devices . Over the past 15 years, multiple randomized trials have compared a number of cardiovascular outcomes among patients randomized to atrial or dual-chamber pacing vs. those randomized to ventricular pacing, showing an unmet need for uniformed recommendations.   

“As new clinical data emerges and technology advances, it is important that clinicians and researchers collaborate to update our knowledge and ensure the best quality of care is delivered,” stated co-lead author of the statement, Anne M. Gillis, MD, FHRS, president of the Heart Rhythm Society. “This document represents the first recommendations specific to pacing devices and mode selection for the individual patient and provides a framework for clinicians and healthcare administrators to select the best possible therapy to optimize patient outcomes.” 

HRS and ACCF convened a diverse panel of 11 cardiac electrophysiologists and surgeons from the United States, Canada and Europe. The writing group reviewed outcomes of pacing mode selection for patients with sinus node dysfunction (SND), atrioventricular (AV) conduction block and other less common indications for pacing. The specific recommendations were based on data derived from multiple randomized clinical trials, single randomized trials, non-randomized trials, case studies, as well as the expert opinions of the writing group. 

Collectively, the consensus experts recommend patients with SND may benefit from atrial or dual-chamber pacing compared with ventricular pacing in regards to the risks of atrial fibrillation (AF), stroke, pacemaker syndrome and improved quality of life. In patients with AV block, dual-chamber pacing can reduce the incidence of pacemaker syndrome and improve some indexes of quality of life. Furthermore, recommending dual chamber pacing or single chamber atrial pacing should not be used in patients in permanent or longstanding persistent AF.  Specific recommendations for cardiac resynchronization therapy are not addressed in this document as they are currently provided in previously published guidelines.

The complete expert consensus statement is available online at www.heartrhythmjournal.com and published in print in the August edition of HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society. It will also be published in the August 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and is available online at http://content.onlinejacc.org.


About the Heart Rhythm Society
The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education and optimal health care policies and standards. Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, DC, it has a membership of more than 5,600 heart rhythm professionals in more than 70 countries around the world. www.hrsonline.org 

About the American College of Cardiology
The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 40,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online athttp://www.cardiosource.org/ACC.

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