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Athlete with Biotronik Pacemaker
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Athlete with Biotronik Pacemaker

I'm 57 with a history of A-fib/flutter, 4 ablation attempts, heartblock after last attempt. Initially got Medtronic pacemaker that was changed 6 months later to a Biotronik pacemaker with CLS sensing, three wire BiV unit to help with running/racewalking. The running was very slow with the Medtronic device & I could barely run an 11:00 minute per mile pace.  

With Biotronik unit, I can't run at all in CLS mode. The unit drives the heartrate down when I switch from racewalking to running, even if I was able to get the HR up to 140/150 depending on where the limits were set.  After just 50 or so yards of running, the unit drives the HR down & I have to start walking again. In accelerometer mode I can run, but the HR never matches the pace very well. It ramps up to the max and the heart is out of sync and I feel lousy.

Many attempts to adjust pacemaker by Biotronik rep, on & off treadmill, in both CLS modes and accelerometer modes.  With and without upper chamber turned off.  Biotronik says my impedence signal is too low & the device is not sensing it very well.  Tried Sotalol to keep the upper chamber on and controlling the HR without A-fib, but it slows the HR so much that I can't get it high enough to support strenuous exercise.

With Medtronic device I had very little Tachycardia, but as soon as the Biotronik device was inserted, I seem to have a lot of it.

1) Has there been similar experience with Biotronik devices in athletes?
2) Is it possible that the Biotronik device is causing more frequent episodes of A-fib?
3) Where could I go to get better support and adjustments of the device?
4) Is there a better device that would allow me to run?
5) Are there any other options or combinations that would allow me to run again?

Related Discussions
230125_tn?1193369457
1) Has there been similar experience with Biotronik devices in athletes?

Unfortunately, I don't know much about Biotronic.  We didn't use them  much where I trained and I do not implant them now.

2) Is it possible that the Biotronik device is causing more frequent episodes of A-fib?

This is unlikely to be device specific.

3) Where could I go to get better support and adjustments of the device?

The best options are a knowledgeable doctor about the device and the programmer that can follow the instructions and help tweak it.

4) Is there a better device that would allow me to run?

This is hard for me to answer without seeing the device diagnostics -- knowing the percent of time in atrial fib, your rate histogram, and exercising you on a treadmill to make sure rate response in appropriate.

5) Are there any other options or combinations that would allow me to run again?

These a great questions but I can't answer them without knowing more information about heart function, the device programming and your response to it.  I am not that familiar with Biotronic devices.  Do you live in Europe?  Biotronic is implanted much more often over seas.
2 Comments
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88793_tn?1290230777
I got quite similar problem that I can't walk more than 10 minutes.  I also think is my pacemaker stuff up!  Once I stop the exercise, after half to one minute then I feel faint and nausea.  I need exercise to wake up my organs because they are going to die one by one.  My cardio is only care for his pacemaker (although is in my body but I got no right to control or said yes or no.)  He said as far as the pacemaker is working fine.  It covered everythings except rupture.  I don't think he is honest.  25 years, he never put me one on the treadmil to see how I and the pacemaker worked?????  Good luck and hope it works well for you.
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