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June 11, 1973

Exercise-Induced Arrhythmias in Patients With Pacemakers

JAMA. 1973;224(11):1515-1518. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220250037012

Twenty-seven patients with cardiac pacemakers performed 44 low-level treadmill exercise tests to demonstrate changes of rhythm. Many types of transient arrhythmias were induced during 33 tests (75%). Ventricular ectopic beats occurred in 26 tests (59%) including five paroxysms of ventricular tachycardia. Supraventricular rhythms occurred in 20 tests (45%): junctional, nine; normal sinus, seven; and atrial fibrillation, four. Serial exercise testing of 15 subjects revealed consistent rhythm changes.

Exercise was helpful in determining pacemaker characteristics, usually illustrating an appropriate function in the demand mode. Ambulatory patients with cardiac pacemakers are often arrhythmic during walking exercise.