increased HR while walking

Pacemaker 2.5 weeks. Atrial and ventricular lead. First checkup showed ventricular lead using too much energy. Will
recheck in one month.Question why does my heart rate go up so quickly with walking.Previously with my bradycardia I
had difficulty getting rate up to 80's. Today on treadmill at 2
miles per hour rate went to 106.Asymptomatic. Will be checked next Tuesday. Any thoughts on this.


Increased HR

by Silversmith - 2007-07-06 04:07:36


My first guess - really it is my only guess - is that your doctor may have activated the rate response feature. My heart rate change was very like yours when I had the rate response activated. I have a dual lead Medtronic pacemaker and the following is what they told me when I asked a queston similar to yours.

"Pacemaker, rate-responsive - A pacemaker with one or more special sensors designed to recognize changes in the body, such as motion of the limbs, or frequency of respiration. By monitoring these body changes, the rate-responsive pacemaker helps the heart rate increase or decrease to meet the body's changing needs.

The normal heart rhythm slows down or speeds up many times during the day, beating slower when a person rests or sleeps, and faster when exercise or emotional excitement signal the body's extra need for oxygen-rich blood. The rate-responsive pacemaker's circuitry interprets the body's changes and increases or decreases the pacing rate to meet the body's needs, depending upon how the physician programmed the response. When the pacemaker senses that the heartbeat is too slow or irregular for the activity being performed, it sends out the needed electrical impulses to pace the heart at the appropriate rate."


Rate Response

by BABlocker - 2007-07-07 12:07:21

This happened to me prior to my first reprogramming session, with my HR accelerating to my upper limit of 140 with a leisurely walk from the parking lot to my EP's office.

With the rate response feature, there are different levels of sensitivity that your PM can be set at, which will make the threshold by which your PM responds easier or more difficult.

My PM was reset to an "Exercise" mode, with a slope of 7, which indicates the speed of acceleration. For me, it allowed my HR to slowly increase as my activity level increased, and also allowed the HR to come down slowly so as to prevent my HR from plummeting too quickly as I recover from my activity. I am almost 100 percent paced in both my atria and ventricles; I find it remarkable that this PM can so efficiently mimick my previously natural heart responses. I now exercise vigorously daily alternating cardio with weight training. The limits of my HR is limited by my upper limit setting and effects of medication on my HR, but I have adapted to these limits and still can get training benefit.

All this to say that this can be addressed by your EP/Pacemaker Tech and resolved.

Good Luck!

Barbara Blocker

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