Current cardiology reports vol:7 issue:5 pages:336-41
This article reviews controversies in cardiac pacing in four areas: methods to prevent unnecessary right ventricular pacing and optimal ventricular pacing sites in the bradycardia population, pacing for prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF), a novel pacing technique for the treatment of heart failure, and pacing for the treatment of sleep apnea. Frequent right ventricular pacing has been reported to increase the incidence of AF and congestive heart failure. However, many patients with pacemakers for bradycardia have intrinsic atrioventricular conduction most of the time. Optimal programming of pacemakers and new algorithms designed to reduce unnecessary ventricular pacing are discussed. Pacing algorithms for prevention of AF have generally been shown to be ineffective. Atrial antitachycardia pacing has been shown to reduce the burden of atrial tachyarrhythmias in selected patients. Cardiac contractility modulation has recently been reported to be a promising new approach to the treatment of heart failure. Some pacing techniques may be effective in the treatment of sleep apnea but larger, long-term clinical trials are required to demonstrate a significant clinical benefit.