JOURNAL ARTICLE

Left ventricular mechanics during right ventricular apical or left ventricular-based pacing in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation after atrioventricular junction ablation

Emmanuel N Simantirakis, Konstantinos E Vardakis, George E Kochiadakis, Emmanuel G Manios, Nikolaos E Igoumenidis, Michele Brignole, Panos E Vardas
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2004 March 17, 43 (6): 1013-8
15028360

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to evaluate whether left ventricular (LV) mechanics are better under LV-based pacing than under right ventricular (RV) apical pacing in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) after atrioventricular junction (AVJ) ablation.

BACKGROUND: "Ablate and pace" is an acceptable therapy for drug-refractory AF. However, the RV apical stimulation commonly used seems to interfere with the beneficial hemodynamic effect of regularization of heart rhythm.

METHODS: The study included 12 patients (5 men, mean age 62 +/- 8.3 years), 6 with impaired and 6 with normal LV systolic function. All of them had a biventricular pacemaker system implanted and underwent atrioventricular node ablation for drug-refractory chronic AF. Using a conductance catheter, we analyzed LV pressure-volume loops during routine coronary angiography in order to evaluate short-term changes in LV mechanics during RV apical and LV-based (LV free wall or biventricular) pacing.

RESULTS: Compared with RV pacing, LV-based pacing significantly improved the indexes of LV systolic function (i.e., end-systolic pressure and volume, cardiac index, stroke work, preload recruitable stroke work, maximal rate of rise of LV pressure [dP/dt(max)], LV ejection fraction, and end-systolic elastance). The LV diastolic filling indexes, end-diastolic pressure and volume, were better during LV-based pacing, whereas LV diastolic function indexes, -dP/dt(max), passive diastolic chamber stiffness, and time constant of LV isovolumic relaxation showed no clear change.

CONCLUSIONS: In the short term, LV-based pacing is superior to RV apical pacing in terms of contractile function and LV filling after AVJ ablation for drug-refractory AF.

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