Cochrane Summaries

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Compared to single chamber ventricular pacemakers, dual chamber pacemakers may reduce the incidence of complications in people with sick sinus syndrome and atrioventricular block

Dretzke J, Toff WD, Lip GYH, Raftery J, Fry-Smith A, Taylor RS
Published Online: 
25 June 2013

Sick sinus syndrome (SSS) and atrioventricular block (AV block) are the two most common reasons people have pacemakers implanted. Both involve the heart beating abnormally slowly. Pacemakers replace or control the heart's own electrical activity. Single chamber pacemakers work on one of the chambers (sections) of the heart, while dual chamber pacemakers, which are more expensive, work on two simultaneously. The review of trials found that dual chamber pacemakers tended to prevent more subsequent heart problems than single chamber ventricular pacemakers. The impact on people's overall quality of life is uncertain. The review did not investigate the relative benefits or risks of surgery to upgrade to a dual chamber pacemaker.

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