Predictors and risk of pacemaker implantation after the Cox-maze IV procedure

Jason O. Robertson, Phillip S. Cuculich, Lindsey L. Saint, Richard B. Schuessler, Marc R. Moon, Jennifer Lawton, Ralph J. Damiano, Hersh S. Maniar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: The incidence of and causes for permanent pacemaker implantation (PPM) after surgical arrhythmia procedures remain poorly understood because of the varied lesion patterns and energy sources reported in small series. This study characterized the incidence, indications, and risk factors for PPM after the Cox-maze IV (CMIV) procedure when performed as either a lone or a concomitant procedure. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 340 patients undergoing a CMIV as either a lone (n = 112) or a concomitant (n = 228) procedure was conducted. The incidence, indication, and variables associated with PPM implantation within 1 year of the operation were assessed. Follow-up was conducted at 30 days and 1 year and was 90% complete. Results: The incidence of PPM after a lone CMIV procedure was 5%. Patients with concomitant cardiac operations had a nonsignificant increase in PPM insertion at 30 days (11% vs 5%, p = 0.14) and 1 year (15% vs 6%, p = 0.06) when compared with lone CMIV patients. Of patients who required pacemakers, sinus node dysfunction was present in 79% (35/44) of patients in the entire series and in 88% (8/9) after lone CMIV. After PPM, 84% (37/44) of patients remained paced at last follow-up. Multivariate analysis identified age (odds ratio = 1.10 [1.06-1.14], p < 0.001) as the only variable associated with higher risk of a PPM after any CMIV procedure. Conclusions: The risk of PPM implantation after a lone CMIV is 5% and increases with age. The need for a PPM after a CMIV is largely due to SA node dysfunction, which appears unlikely to recover. These data should help physicians counsel patients regarding the perioperative risks associated with the CMIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2015-2021
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013

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