The Effects of Rate Responsive Pacing on Exercise Performance in the Postoperative Univentricular Heart


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Following the Fontan operation for definitive palliation of the univentricular heart, sinus node dysfunction, and/or atrioventricular block requiring pacemaker therapy is common. In previous studies ventricular rate responsive pacing (VVI, R) resulted in improved exercise performance over VVI pacing in anatomically normal hearts with either sinus node disease or atrioventricular block. In this study, the usefulness of both VVI, R and DDD, R pacing are evaluated in the postoperative univentricular heart following the Fontan operation. Eight postoperative Fontan patients with sinus node disease or atrioventricular block underwent exercise testing using a treadmill protocol. Six patients had single chamber ventricular pacemakers and two patients had dual chambered rate responsive pacemakers. Median age at exercise testing was 14 years. Patients were tested in the VVI, VVI, R, and DDD, R modes acting as their own controls. Heart rate, work rate, oxygen consumption, and respiratory exchange ratio were monitored continuously. Heart rate was significantly increased in the rate responsive modes compared to the VVI mode. In spite of the significant increase in heart rate, there was no change in maximal work rate or oxygen consumption. There was also no significant change in oxygen consumption at ventilatory anaerobic threshold. From these data we would conclude that VVI, R pacing in postoperative univentricular hearts does not result in improved exercise performance and that further study with DDD, R pacing is needed to determine its usefulness in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1256-1262
Number of pages7
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993


  • Fontan
  • exercise
  • rate responsive pacing


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effects of Rate Responsive Pacing on Exercise Performance in the Postoperative Univentricular Heart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this