Author(s): Ammirati F, Colivicchi F, Santini M Syncope Diagn
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Abstract BACKGROUND: This clinical investigation was performed to compare the effects of permanent dual-chamber cardiac pacing with pharmacological therapy in patients with recurrent vasovagal syncope. METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients from 14 centers were randomized to receive either a DDD pacemaker provided with rate-drop response function or the beta-blocker atenolol at the dosage of 100 mg once a day. Inclusion criteria were age >35 years, >/=3 syncopal spells in the preceding 2 years, and positive response to tilt table testing with syncope occurring in association with relative bradycardia. The primary outcome was the first recurrence of syncope after randomization. Enrollment was started in December 1997, and the first formal interim analysis was performed on July 30, 2000. By that time, 93 patients (38 men and 55 women; mean age, 58.1+/-14.3 years) had been enrolled and randomized, although follow-up data were available for all patients (46 patients in the pacemaker arm, 47 patients in the pharmacological arm). The interim analysis showed a significant effect in favor of permanent cardiac pacing (recurrence of syncope in 2 patients [4.3\%] after a median of 390 days) compared with medical treatment (recurrence of syncope in 12 patients [25.5\%] after a median of 135 days; OR, 0.133; 95\% CI, 0.028 to 0.632; P=0.004). Consequently, enrollment and follow-up were terminated. CONCLUSIONS: DDD pacing with rate-drop response function is more effective than beta-blockade for the prevention of syncopal recurrences in highly symptomatic vasovagal fainters with relative bradycardia during tilt-induced syncope.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods