Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

PLoS One

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PLoS One

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


Total Pages

12 pages


BACKGROUND: Severe postoperative conduction disturbances requiring permanent pacemaker implantation frequently occur following cardiac surgery. Little is known about the long-term pacing requirements and risk factors for pacemaker dependency in this population.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review of the literature addressing rates and predictors of pacemaker dependency in patients requiring permanent pacemaker implantation after cardiac surgery. Using a comprehensive search of the Medline, Web of Science and EMBASE databases, studies were selected for review based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria.

RESULTS: A total of 8 studies addressing the endpoint of pacemaker-dependency were identified, while 3 studies were found that addressed the recovery of atrioventricular (AV) conduction endpoint. There were 10 unique studies with a total of 780 patients. Mean follow-up ranged from 6-72 months. Pacemaker dependency rates ranged from 32%-91% and recovery of AV conduction ranged from 16%-42%. There was significant heterogeneity with respect to the definition of pacemaker dependency. Several patient and procedure-specific variables were found to be independently associated with pacemaker dependency, but these were not consistent between studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Pacemaker dependency following cardiac surgery occurs with variable frequency. While individual studies have identified various perioperative risk factors for pacemaker dependency and non-resolution of AV conduction disease, results have been inconsistent. Well-conducted studies using a uniform definition of pacemaker dependency might identify patients who will benefit most from early permanent pacemaker implantation after cardiac surgery.



Journal Article Version

Version of Record

Published Article/Book Citation

PLoS ONE 10(10): e0140340. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140340


© 2015 Steyers et al.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.