PMID: 3608595Aug 1, 1987Paper

Control of pacemaker rate by impedance-based respiratory minute ventilation

E AltH Blömer


Several studies have shown that the capability for exercise can be increased in patients with pacemakers by means of adjusting the rate. Respiration is one of the parameters considered for rate control. The aim of our study was to determine how respiratory parameters such as ventilation, tidal volume, and respiratory rate are capable of controlling the pacemaker rate, especially when measured indirectly by means of impedance plethysmography. We examined four volunteers and eight patients with implanted cardiac pacemakers using bicycle ergometry at increasing work loads. We recorded heart rate, uptake of oxygen, and ventilation directly (by pneumotachygraphy) and indirectly (by chest wall impedance plethysmography). A good correlation of directly to indirectly measured ventilation (r = 0.8687) was found. Our study suggests that respiratory minute volume is more appropriate for rate control of physiologic pacemakers than tidal volume or respiratory rate alone. Measurement by means of impedance plethysmography is sufficiently precise to be used for this purpose. Further studies must be conducted as to the optimum realization within an implantable device.


Mar 1, 1983·Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology : PACE·P RossiF Aina

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