Sudden death and its risk factors after atrioventricular junction ablation and pacemaker implantation in patients with atrial fibrillation

Ru Xing Wang, Hon Chi Lee, Jia Ping Li, David O. Hodge, Yong Mei Cha, Paul A. Friedman, Thomas M. Munger, Komandoor Srivathsan, Behzad B. Pavri, Win Kuang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Although sudden death (SD) is a rare complication after atrioventricular junction (AVJ) ablation and permanent pacemaker implantation, the risk factors leading to this SD remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate SD and its risk factors after ablate-and-pace strategy for rate control in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients during long-term follow-up. Hypothesis: Methods: From January 2005 to December 2009, we enrolled into this study 517 AF patients with AVJ ablation and right ventricular pacemaker implantation. Patients were divided into 2 groups, SD and non-SD. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess potential risk factors for overall mortality and SD. Results: During a mean follow-up of 25.8 ± 18.6 months (range, 3 days to 63.8 months), 53 patients died (15 with SD). Cox proportional hazards models showed that the presence of congestive heart failure, New York Heart Association functional class, chronic renal failure, and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia were risk factors that predicted overall mortality. For SD, the presence of dilated cardiomyopathy and mitral stenosis were associated risk factors. SD was exclusively seen in patients who had narrow QRS complex or right bundle branch block prior to AVJ ablation and pacemaker implantation; SD was not seen in any patient with preexisting complete left bundle branch block. Conclusions: Dilated cardiomyopathy, mitral stenosis, and baseline QRS morphology should be examined as potential risk factors for SD after AVJ ablation and pacemaker implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Arrhythmia/all
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiac pacing
  • Catheter ablation
  • QRS morphology
  • sudden death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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