Incidence of Atrioventricular Block After Valve Replacement in Carcinoid Heart Disease

Igor Sunjic, Doosup Shin, Katlynd M. Sunjic, Jesal V. Popat, Thanh Tran, Sanders H. Chae, Christiano C. Caldeira, Jonathan R. Strosberg, Dany Sayad


Background: Carcinoid heart disease (CaHD) is a rare condition that has a high impact on the morbidity and mortality of its patients. Once heart failure symptoms develop in the patient with CaHD, cardiac valve surgery is often the only effective treatment. Although atrioventricular block (AVB) is a known postoperative complication of the valve surgery, the incidence of AVB in this population has not been well described.

Methods: Comprehensive records were collected retrospectively on consecutive patients with CaHD who underwent a valve surgery at a tertiary medical center from January 2001 to December 2015. We excluded patients with pre-existing permanent pacemaker (PPM).

Results: Nineteen consecutive patients were included in this study and 18 of them underwent at least dual valve (tricuspid and pulmonary valve) replacement surgery. Our 30-day post-surgical mortality was 0%. During the 6-month observation period following the surgery, 31.5% (n = 6) required PPM implantation due to complete AVB. There was no statistical difference in baseline characteristics and electrocardiographic and echocardiographic parameters between the patients who did or did not require PPM placement.

Conclusions: Our study revealed that almost one-third of CaHD patients who underwent a valve replacement surgery developed AVB requiring PPM implantation. Due to high incidence of PPM requirement, we believe that prophylactic placement of an epicardial lead during the valve surgery can be helpful in these patients to reduce serious complication from placement of pacemaker lead on a later date through a prosthetic valve.

Cardiol Res. 2020;11(1):56-60


Carcinoid heart disease; Atrioventricular block; Pacemaker; Valve disease; Valve replacement surgery

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