Among patients with preclinical and overt heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and preexisting pacemakers that limit ventricular dyssynchrony, are moderately accelerated, personalized backup heart rates superior to the nominal setting of 60 beats per minute?
In this randomized clinical trial of 107 participants, moderately accelerated pacing improved health-related quality of life, natriuretic peptide levels, activity levels, and atrial fibrillation compared with the standard 60 beats per minute setting.
This study found that tailoring the pacemaker backup rate to approximate an individual’s resting heart rate improved outcomes; heart rate modulation, delivered in a way that maintains or optimizes physiologic conduction, may be a therapeutic target in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.
Patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) with a pacemaker may benefit from a higher, more physiologic backup heart rate than the nominal 60 beats per minute (bpm) setting.
To assess the effects of a moderately accelerated personalized backup heart rate compared with 60 bpm (usual care) in patients with preexisting pacemaker systems that limit pacemaker-mediated dyssynchrony.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This blinded randomized clinical trial enrolled patients with stage B and C HFpEF from the University of Vermont Medical Center pacemaker clinic between June 2019 and November 2020. Analysis was modified intention to treat.
Participants were randomly assigned to personalized accelerated pacing or usual care and were followed up for 1 year. The personalized accelerated pacing heart rate was calculated using a resting heart rate algorithm based on height and modified by ejection fraction.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was the serial change in Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) score. Secondary end points were changes in N-terminal pro–brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels, pacemaker-detected physical activity, atrial fibrillation from baseline, and adverse clinical events.
Overall, 107 participants were randomly assigned to the personalized accelerated pacing (n = 50) or usual care (n = 57) groups. The median (IQR) age was 75 (69-81) years, and 48 (48%) were female. Over 1-year follow-up, the median (IQR) pacemaker-detected heart rate was 75 (75-80) bpm in the personalized accelerated pacing arm and 65 (63-68) bpm in usual care. MLHFQ scores improved in the personalized accelerated pacing group (median [IQR] baseline MLHFQ score, 26 [8-45]; at 1 month, 15 [2-25]; at 1 year, 9 [4-21]; P < .001) and worsened with usual care (median [IQR] baseline MLHFQ score, 19 [6-42]; at 1 month, 23 [5-39]; at 1 year, 27 [7-52]; P = .03). In addition, personalized accelerated pacing led to improved changes in NT-proBNP levels (mean [SD] decrease of 109  pg/dL vs increase of 128  pg/dL with usual care; P = .02), activity levels (mean [SD], +47  minutes per day vs −22  minutes per day with usual care; P < .001), and device-detected atrial fibrillation (27% relative risk reduction compared with usual care; P = .04) over 1-year of follow-up. Adverse clinical events occurred in 4 patients in the personalized accelerated pacing group and 11 patients in usual care.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this study, among patients with HFpEF and pacemakers, treatment with a moderately accelerated, personalized pacing rate was safe and improved quality of life, NT-proBNP levels, physical activity, and atrial fibrillation compared with the usual 60 bpm setting.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04721314
Infeld M, Wahlberg K, Cicero J, et al. Effect of Personalized Accelerated Pacing on Quality of Life, Physical Activity, and Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With Preclinical and Overt Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: The myPACE Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Cardiol. 2023;8(3):213–221. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2022.5320
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