Tailored echocardiographic interventricular delay programming further optimizes left ventricular performance after cardiac resynchronization therapy

Marc Vanderheyden, Tine De Backer, Maximo Rivero-Ayerza, Peter Geelen, Jozef Bartunek, Sofie Verstreken, Mark De Zutter, Marc Goethals
Heart Rhythm: the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 2005, 2 (10): 1066-72

BACKGROUND: The aim of cardiac resynchronization therapy is correction of left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony. However, little is known about the optimal timing of LV and right ventricular (RV) stimulation.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the acute hemodynamic effects of biventricular pacing, using a range of interventricular delays in patients with advanced heart failure.

METHODS: Twenty patients with dilated ischemic (n = 12) and idiopathic (n = 8) cardiomyopathy (age 66 +/- 6 years, New York Heart Association class III-IV, LV end-diastolic diameter >55 mm, ejection fraction 22% +/- 18%, and QRS 200 +/- 32 ms) were implanted with a biventricular resynchronization device with sequential RV and LV timing (VV) capabilities. Tissue Doppler echocardiographic parameters were measured during sinus rhythm before implantation and following an optimal AV interval with both simultaneous and sequential biventricular pacing. The interventricular interval was modified by advancing the LV stimulus (LV first) or RV stimulus (RV first) up to 60 ms. For each stimulation protocol, standard echocardiographic Doppler and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) echo were used to measure the LV outflow tract velocity-time integral, LV filling time, intraventricular delay, and interventricular delay.

RESULTS: The highest velocity-time integral was found in 12 patients with LV first stimulation, 5 patients with RV first stimulation, and 3 patients with simultaneous biventricular activation. Compared with simultaneous biventricular pacing, the optimized sequential biventricular pacing significantly increased the velocity-time integral (P <.001) and LV filling time (P = .001) and decreased interventricular delay (P = .013) and intraventricular delay (P = .010). The optimal VV interval could not be predicted by any clinical nor echocardiographic parameter. At 6-month follow-up, the incidence of nonresponders was 10%.

CONCLUSION: Optimal timing of the interventricular interval results in prolongation of the LV filling time, reduction of interventricular asynchrony, and an increase in stroke volume. In patients with advanced heart failure undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy, LV hemodynamics may be further improved by optimizing LV-RV delay.

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