Atrial autonomic denervation for the treatment of long-standing symptomatic sinus bradycardia in non-elderly patients

Liang Zhao, Weifeng Jiang, Li Zhou, Yuanlong Wang, Xiaodong Zhang, Shaohui Wu, Kai Xu, Xu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: Multiple lead and generator replacement and related complications often complicate the decision of pacemaker implantation in non-elderly patients with symptomatic bradycardia. This study sought to investigate the efficacy and safety of atrial autonomic denervation for treating the symptomatic long-standing sinus bradycardia (SB) in non-elderly patients. Methods and results: Eleven non-elderly patients (mean age, 45.9 ± 10.9 years; eight men) with a long history of SB (106.2 ± 43.7 months; range, 60–189) were enrolled. Five atrial ganglionated plexies (GPs), identified by anatomic distribution and high-frequency stimulation, were targeted and ablated. The end point was elimination of the vagal response at ablation sites. The symptoms of SB and Holter were followed up at 3 days, 6, and 12 months and, thereafter, over a period of 18 months. Six patients were under 50 years old (group I) and 5 patients were between 50 and 60 years old (group II). There were 3.1 ± 0.7 GPs with positive vagal response and 11.3 ± 2.7 ablation sites in each patient. During the 18.4 ± 6.2 (range, 12–25) months of follow-up, all patients reported significant symptom improvement with a significant decrease of the SB-related symptoms score. The total heartbeats, mean, and minimum heart rate significantly increased that persisted for 12 months. Compared with patients in group II, those in group I had more increases in total heartbeats and mean heart rate (HR). Conclusion: Atrial autonomic denervation increases sinus rate and improves symptoms in non-elderly patients with symptomatic long-standing SB, thus, potentially serving as an alternative to pacemaker implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic denervation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Sinus bradycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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