Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with worse outcomes in many cardiovascular diseases. There are few data examining pacemaker implantation rates and indications in patients with AF who undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). To examine the impact of AF on the incidence of and indications for pacemakers in patients undergoing TAVR, we evaluated data of 1723 patients without pre-existing pacemakers who underwent TAVR in the Placement of AoRTic TraNscathetER Valve (PARTNER) trial. Permanent pacemaker implantation rates and indications were compared in groups based on baseline and discharge heart rhythm: sinus rhythm (SR) vs. AF. 1211 patients manifested SR at baseline/SR at discharge (SR/SR), 105 SR baseline/AF discharge (SR/AF), and 407 AF baseline/AF discharge (AF/AF). Patients who developed and were discharged with AF (SR/AF) had the highest rates of pacemaker implantation at 30 days (13.7% SR/AF vs. 5.4% SR/SR, p=0.0008 and 5.9% AF/AF, p=0.008) and 1 year (17.7% SR/AF vs. 7.1% SR/SR, p=0.0002 and 8.1% AF/AF, p=0.0034). Conversion from SR to AF by discharge was an independent predictor of increased pacemaker implantation at 30 days (HR 2.19 vs. SR/SR, 95% CI 1.23-3.93, p=0.008) and 1 year (HR 1.91 vs. SR/SR, 95% CI 1.33-3.80). Pacemaker indications differed between groups, with relatively more implanted in the AF groups for sick sinus syndrome (SSS) versus AV block. In conclusion, conversion to AF is an independent predictor of permanent pacemaker implantation in TAVR patients. Indications differ depending on heart rhythm, with patients in AF manifesting clinically significant tachy-brady syndrome versus AV block.
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