Background: The incidence of permanent pacemaker (PPM)implantation is higher following mitral valve surgery (MVS)with ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF)compared with MVS alone. Objectives: This study identified risk factors and outcomes associated with PPM implantation in a randomized trial that evaluated ablation for AF in patients who underwent MVS. Methods: A total of 243 patients with AF and without previous PPM placement were randomly assigned to MVS alone (n = 117)or MVS + ablation (n = 126). Patients in the ablation group were further randomized to pulmonary vein isolation (PVI)(n = 62)or the biatrial maze procedure (n = 64). Using competing risk models, this study examined the association among PPM and baseline and operative risk factors, and the effect of PPM on time to discharge, readmissions, and 1-year mortality. Results: Thirty-five patients received a PPM within the first year (14.4%), 29 (83%)underwent implantation during the index hospitalization. The frequency of PPM implantation was 7.7% in patients randomized to MVS alone, 16.1% in MVS + PVI, and 25% in MVS + biatrial maze. The indications for PPM were similar among patients who underwent MVS with and without ablation. Ablation, multivalve surgery, and New York Heart Association functional (NYHA)functional class III/IV were independent risk factors for PPM implantation. Length of stay post-surgery was longer in patients who received PPMs, but it was not significant when adjusted for randomization assignment (MVS vs. ablation)and age (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.61 to 1.08; p = 0.14). PPM implantation did not increase 30-day readmission rate (HR: 1.43; 95% CI: 0.50 to 4.05; p = 0.50). The need for PPM was associated with a higher risk of 1-year mortality (HR: 3.21; 95% CI: 1.01 to 10.17; p = 0.05)after adjustment for randomization assignment, age, and NYHA functional class. Conclusions: AF ablation, multivalve surgery, and NYHA functional class III/IV were associated with an increased risk for permanent pacing. PPM implantation following MVS was associated with a significant increase in 1-year mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2427-2435
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 21 May 2019


  • biatrial maze
  • cardiac surgery
  • permanent pacemaker
  • pulmonary vein isolation
  • valvular heart disease


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