Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
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ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2017, vol. 26, nr 2, March-April, p. 351–357

doi: 10.17219/acem/61429

Publication type: review article

Language: English

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Antiarrhythmic properties of atrial pacing

Magdalena Kliś1,A,B,C,D,E,F, Agnieszka Sławuta2,A,B,C,D,E,F, Jacek Gajek3,A,B,C,D,E,F

1 Department of Cardiology, Province Specialist Hospital, Wrocław, Poland

2 Department of Cardiology, Klodzko County Hospital, Poland

3 Department of Clinical Nursing, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland


Bradycardia, atrial stretch and dilatation, autonomic nervous system disorders, and the presence of triggers such as atrial premature contractions, are factors which predispose a person to paroxysmal AF. Atrial pacing not only eliminates bradycardia but also prevents atrial premature contractions and dispersion of refractoriness, which are a substrate for atrial fibrillation. As the prolonged duration of atrial activation during pacing, especially from locations changing the physiological pattern of this activation (right atrium lateral wall, right atrium appendage), negatively influences both a mechanical and an electrical function of the atria, the atrial pacing site affects an atrial arrhythmogenesis. A conventional atrial lead location in the right atrium appendage causes non-physiological activation propagation, resulting in a prolongation of the activation time of both atria. This location is optimal according to a passive fixation of the atrial lead but the available contemporary active fixation leads could potentially be located in any area of the atrium. There is growing evidence of the benefit of pacing, imitating the physiological propagation of impulses within the atria. It seems that the Bachmann’s bundle pacing is the best pacing site within the atria, not only positively influencing the atrial mechanical function but also best fulfilling the so-called atrial resynchronization function, in particular in patients with interatrial conduction delay. It can be effectively achieved using only one atrial electrode, and the slight shortening of atrioventricular conduction provides an additional benefit of this atrial pacing site.

Key words

atrial pacing, alternative sites, atrial fibrillation, Bachmann’s bundle

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