- Optimal treatment for patients with AV block and normal sinoatrial node (SA) function entails atrial sensing and ventricular pacing (VDD mode). Single-lead VDD pacing preserves AV synchrony, precludes the need to insert two leads, and makes the implanter's work simpler and quicker. Our objectives were to verify the performance of the Thera VDD pacing system (medtronic, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, USA), and evaluate the effectiveness of its atrial sensing and its ventricular sensing and pacing. In 165 patients, 150 adults (mean age 62 +/- 18 years) and 15 children (mean age 7 +/- 5 years) with 1 degree-3 degrees AV block and normal SA node function, a Thera VDD system (Models 8948 or 8968) was implanted. Intraoperative ventricular electrical measurements were not significantly different from those of VVI pacemakers. The mean amplitude of the atrial signal during implantation was 4.1 +/- 1.9 mV. Optimal atrial signals during implantation were usually obtained in the mid or lower part of the right atrium by using a special technique. Adequate atrial measurements remained stable throughout 24 months. There was no difference between serial measurements of atrial signal amplitudes at predischarge and during follow-up visits. Reposition of the lead was done in 2 patients (1.4%), and reprogramming to VVI in 7 patients: due to atrial fibrillation in 3 (1.8%) and due to atrial undersensing in 4 patients (2.4%). Thera VDD pacing is reliable and easy to manage with dependable atrial sensing and ventricular pacing. The survival rate of VDD pacing at 2 years was 96%.