Background Implantable loop recorders (ILR) allow prolonged cardiac rhythm monitoring and improved diagnostic yield in syncope patients. Predictive factors for pacemaker (PM) implantation in the ILR population with unexplained syncope have not been adequately investigated. In this single center, retrospective, observational study we investigated factors that predict PM implantation in this population. Methods We retrospectively analyzed our ILR database of patients aged over 18 years who underwent ILR implantation for unexplained syncope between January 2009 and June 2013. Patient case notes were examined for demographics, history, electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities, investigations, and events during follow-up. The primary end-point was the detection of a symptomatic or asymptomatic bradycardia requiring PM implantation. Results During a period of 4.5 years, 200 patients were implanted with ILR for unexplained syncope, of who n = 33 (16.5%) had clinically significant bradycardia requiring PM implantation. After multivariable analysis, history of injury secondary to syncope was found to be the strongest independent predictor for PM implantation (odds ratio [OR]:9.1; P < 0.001; 95% confidence interval [CI]: (3.26-26.81). Other significant predictors included female sex, PR interval > 200msec, and age >75 years. In patients without conduction abnormalities on the ECG, history of injury secondary to syncope was found to be the strongest independent predictor for PM implantation (OR: 8.16; P = 0.00027; 95% [CI]: (2.67-26.27). Conclusions A history of injury secondary to syncope and female sex were independent predictive factors for bradycardia necessitating PM implantation in patients receiving an ILR for syncope with or without ECG conduction abnormalities.
- implantable loop recorder