Utility of rapid atrial pacing before and after TAVR with balloon-expandable valve in predicting permanent pacemaker implantation


Internal Medicine

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Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions


Background: High-grade or complete atrioventricular block (AVB) requiring permanent pacemaker (PPM) implantation is a known complication of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Wenckebach AVB induced by rapid atrial pacing (RAP) after TAVR was previously demonstrated in an observational analysis to be an independent predictor for PPM. We sought to investigate the utility of both pre- and post-TAVR RAP in predicting PPM implantation.

Methods: In a single-center, prospective study, 421 patients underwent TAVR with balloon-expandable valves (BEV) between April 2020 and August 2021. Intraprocedural RAP was performed in patients without a pre-existing pacemaker, atrial fibrillation/flutter, or intraprocedural complete AVB to assess for RAP-induced Wenckebach AVB. The primary outcome was PPM within 30 days after TAVR.

Results: RAP was performed in 253 patients, of whom 91.3% underwent post-TAVR RAP and 61.2% underwent pre-TAVR RAP. The overall PPM implantation rate at 30 days was 9.9%. Although there was a numerically higher rate of PPM at 30 days in patients with RAP-induced Wenckebach AVB, it did not reach statistical significance (13.3% vs. 8.4%, p = 0.23). In a multivariable analysis, RAP-induced Wenckebach was not an independent predictor for PPM implantation at 30 days after TAVR. PPM rates at 30 days were comparable in patients with or without pre-TAVR pacing-induced Wenckebach AVB (11.8% vs. 8.2%, p = 0.51) and post-TAVR pacing-induced Wenckebach AVB (10.2% vs. 5.8%, p = 0.25).

Conclusion: In patients who underwent TAVR with BEV, there were no statistically significant differences in PPM implantation rates at 30 days regardless of the presence or absence of RAP-induced Wenckebach AVB. Due to conflicting results between the present study and the prior observational analysis, future studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to determine the role of RAP during TAVR as a risk-stratification tool for significant AVB requiring PPM after TAVR.

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Humans; Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (adverse effects, methods); Atrial Fibrillation (diagnosis, etiology, therapy); Prospective Studies; Heart Valve Prosthesis (adverse effects); Cardiac Pacing, Artificial (adverse effects); Treatment Outcome; Risk Factors; Atrioventricular Block (diagnosis, etiology, therapy); Pacemaker, Artificial (adverse effects); Aortic Valve Stenosis (diagnostic imaging, surgery); Aortic Valve (diagnostic imaging, surgery)

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