The clinical relevance of electromyopotential oversensing in current unipolar devices

J. N. Gross, S. Platt, R. Ritacco, C. Andrews, S. Furman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Electromyopotential oversensing of unipolar pacemakers was first appreciated 20 years ago, but its prevalence in present day devices is less well defined. Thirty-four pacemaker patients, only two with symptoms suggestive of oversensing, were evaluated in unipolar settings to assess the frequency of provocation of oversensing in one or, if present, both pacing channels. The sensing threshold of each patient, whenever possible, was recorded as well. Results: atrial oversensing occurred in 11/18 patients (61%), all at sensitivities in the 0.4-1.0 mV range. Ventricular oversensing was noted in 13/33 patients (39%), with all but one programmed to settings of 1.25 mV or more sensitive (i.e. < 1.25 mV). Twenty six of 26 patients amenable to testing had ventricular sensing thresholds of at least 4.0 mV or more. Of the 15 patients amenable to atrial sensing threshold testing, 4 had a threshold of 1.0 mV or < 1.0 mV, 6 had thresholds between 1.0-2.0 mV, and 5 sensed at settings > 2.0 mV. Conclusions: electromyopotential oversensing remains a relevant issue in current day unipolar pacemakers. Most patients do not describe symptoms related to electromyopotential interference, yet such interference is frequently provoked. Oversensing is common at high sensitivities typically utilized for atrial sensing, but quite unusual at settings necessary for adequate ventricular sensing. Programming unipolar devices to unnecessarily high sensitivities should be avoided or serious consequences may result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2023-2027
Number of pages5
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number11 II
StatePublished - Nov 20 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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