Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common finding in the myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) population. Pacemakers (PMs) may facilitate the diagnosis and management of frequent subclinical asymptomatic AF episodes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of minimal ventricular pacing on paroxysmal AF incidence in DM1 patients during a 24-month follow-up period. Methods: We enrolled 70 DM1 patients (age 43.4 ± 13.8 years; 39 women) who underwent dual-chamber PM implantation. Patients were randomized to minimizing ventricular pacing features (ON) or not (OFF). Patients crossed over to the opposite pacing programming 12 months later. We counted the number of DM1 patients with at least 1 episode of AF, the AF total duration, and the burden recorded by PM diagnostics during the MVP ON and OFF phases. Results: Twenty-five DM1 patients (41.7%) showed at least 1 AF episode. Seven patients (11.7%) demonstrated AF episodes during MVP ON phase and 25 patients (41.7%) during MVP OFF phase (P <.001). Thirty-five patients had no AF during MVP ON or OFF phase, 3 patients had AF episodes only during MVP ON phase, 21 patients had AF episodes only during MVP OFF phase, and 4 patients had AF episodes during MVP ON and OFF phases. Activation of the MVP algorithm was associated with a 44% reduction in relative risk of developing AF. Furthermore, during the MVP ON phases, the study population showed a shorter total AF duration and a lower AF burden. Conclusion: MVP is an efficacy strategy for reducing the risk of AF in DM1 patients who have undergone PM implantation.
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