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The effects of aging on AV nodal recovery properties

, : The effects of aging on AV nodal recovery properties. Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 24(2): 194-198

The purpose of this study was to assess the changes of AV nodal recovery properties with aging. Although in children and young adults it was found that there were age dependent changes in their AV nodal recovery properties, in the older population this information was not available. In 92 subjects (aged 16-92 years) without AV nodal disease or dual AV nodal pathway physiology, their AV nodal recovery curves were studied by delivering premature atrial extrastimuli coupled to basic atrial beats during cardiac electrophysiological study. Data were analyzed using linear regression and curve-fitting techniques. Patients were grouped by age, group I < 40 years (n = 33), group II 40-59 years (n = 26), and group III > 60 years (n = 33). The results showed that the AV nodal recovery curve did not change significantly in the aging process except that the AV nodal effective refractory period had a positive correlation with increasing age. The latter was significantly increased in group III when compared to group I or group II. For this parameter, when patients whose AV nodal refractory period was limited by the atrial refractory period were excluded, there was still a statistically significant increase in group III compared to group II (P < 0.05): group I (n = 27): 202+/-42 ms; group II (n = 17): 197+/-26 ms; and group III (n = 17): 224+/-46 ms. The results suggest that the AV nodal recovery curve remains unchanged once it reaches adulthood, with the exception that the nodal effective refractory period becomes slightly longer after age 60.


PMID: 11270699

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