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Chapter 34 – Cardiac Pacing Modes and Terminology

Jose F. Huizar,
Karoly Kaszala,
Kenneth A. Ellenbogen

Pacemakers have the capability of sensing intrinsic cardiac activity and responding to sensed events depending on the pacing mode. Cardiac pacing terminology has evolved as the devices have become more sophisticated. Pacemakers have different programmable rates, pacing modes, and timing cycles that allow them to function predictably and respond to different circumstances. Understanding of pacing terminology and timing cycles (Tables 34-1 and 34-2) is important to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate pacemaker functions.

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Pacing Nomenclature

A five-letter pacing mode nomenclature has been adopted (see Table 34-1).[1] The first letter refers to the chamber being paced (Omitted or absent, Atrium, Ventricle, and Dual for atrium and ventricle), the second letter refers to the chamber being sensed (Omitted or absent, Atrium, Ventricle, and Dual for atrium and ventricle), and the third letter refers …