Heart rate

I am an 80 year old man.  I had 3rd degree heart block and got a dual biotronic pace maker and AV node ablation on June 21 and June 22.  I'm doing just fine. My EP DOC set my heart rate at 80....I guess I should have asked why it was set at 80.  He told me after my first check he will put it down to 70 and eventually at 60.  I didn't ask the reason...has anyone else had this.


Higher base rate following AV node ablation

by Gemita - 2021-07-31 01:33:42

Hello Dickie,

In your earlier post on the same subject, I did attempt to give you an answer to this question.  Perhaps you didn’t see my comments?

From what I understood when I was considering an AV Node ablation, there is a small risk of developing ventricular arrhythmias like ventricular fibrillation and therefore sudden cardiac death following an AV node ablation.   To help prevent this, your doctors will set your minimum heart rate (base rate) to 80 bpm or even 90 bpm and then gradually lower this over several months when the risk for complications naturally reduce.  

Ablation of the AV node followed by pacing at a rate less than 70 bpm can be associated with an increase in sympathetic nerve activity which could increase the risk of developing dangerous ventricular arrhythmias.  To reduce this risk, pacing initially at higher rates, say 80-90 bpm, appears to decrease this activity to or below pre-ablation levels and should therefore be protective.  

I would still recommend you confirm with your doctors when you next see them why they set your rate at 80 bpm.  We all have different health conditions and needs.  I live permanently with a higher heart rate (70 bpm) which suits me.  You may find that a higher heart rate will keep both atrial and ventricular ectopics under better control too should you ever suffer from these.  Hope you continue to do well

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