Background Permanent pacemaker (PPM) implantation is required in 3-12% of all patients undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR). Our aim was to evaluate the contemporary incidence and impact of the introduction of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for PPM insertion after isolated AVR. Methods Since 2004, during a 10-year period, a total of 858 patients underwent isolated AVR at our institution. Forty-one patients with PPM before operation were excluded from the study and 817 patients were included in the statistical analysis. Of these, 20 patients (2.45%) developed significant conduction disorders, leading to PPM implantation within 120 days postoperatively. Patients were further divided into two groups. Before (Group I: June 2004 to September 2008) and after (Group II: October 2008 to May 2014) the introduction of the TAVI program. Results There were 343 patients in Group I and 475 patients in Group II. The incidence of PPM implantation decreased from 3.79% (13 patients) in Group I to 1.47% (seven patients) in Group II (P < 0.001). Risk factors for permanent pacing identified by univariate analysis were: Group I (before introducing TAVI program), pulmonary hypertension, preoperative anemia, age older than 75 years, and previous myocardial infarction. Multivariate analysis identified Group I (before introducing TAVI program; P < 0.005; odds ratio [OR] 15.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.3-19.9) and pulmonary hypertension (P < 0.005; OR 12.5, 95% CI 3.2-18.3) to be significant. Conclusions Irreversible atrio-ventricular block or symptomatic bradycardia requiring PPM implantation is a relatively rare complication. The incidence of PPM implantation after isolated surgical AVR decreased in a contemporary setting after the introduction of the TAVI program.
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