QRS narrowing is associated with reverse remodeling in patients with chronic right ventricular pacing upgraded to cardiac resynchronization therapy

John Rickard, Alan Cheng, David Spragg, Daniel Cantillon, Mina K Chung, W H Wilson Tang, Bruce L Wilkoff, Niraj Varma
Heart Rhythm: the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 2013, 10 (1): 55-60

BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic right ventricular pacing (RVP) upgraded to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) have been excluded from the majority of clinical trials of CRT. Little is known about the predictors of response in this population. We hypothesized that reversal of RVP-induced electrical dyssynchrony (indexed by QRS duration) by CRT would predict a favorable response.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify baseline characteristics associated with response in patients upgraded to CRT from chronic RVP.

METHODS: Consecutive patients presenting for CRT at the Cleveland Clinic between September 30, 2003, and July 8, 2008, with chronic RVP and serial echocardiograms were included in this analysis. RVP was defined as>85% pacing on a pre-CRT device check, previous AV nodal ablation, or complete pacer dependency per chart notes. Response was defined as a reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume ≥ 15% from baseline. Clinical, ECG, and echocardiographic data were extracted to determine covariates associated with response.

RESULTS: One hundred twelve patients met inclusion criteria, of whom 72 (64.3%) met criteria for response over median follow-up of 9.9 months (interquartile range [6.5-14.7]). No significant differences were noted in terms of male gender (68.1% vs 75.0%; P = .52), ischemic cardiomyopathy (55.6% vs 55.0%; P = 1), pre-CRT QRS duration (189.1 ± 20.7 ms vs 185.5 ± 26.8 ms; P = .47), duration of RVP before CRT upgrade (5.8 ± 3.9 years vs 6.2 ± 4.0 years; P = .57), or baseline left ventricular end-systolic volume (160.0 ± 60.7 mL vs 172.8 ± 67.2 mL; P = .32) between responders and nonresponders, respectively. Percent reduction in QRS duration between the right ventricular-paced and first biventricular-paced waveforms was significantly greater in responders compared with nonresponders (14.4% ± 13.2% vs 7.2%± 14.0%; P = .01). In multivariate analysis, percent reduction in QRS narrowing was the lone factor associated with response (odds ratio 0.02 [0.001-0.42]; P = .01).

CONCLUSION: Reversal of electrical dyssynchrony predicts response to CRT in chronically RV-paced patients upgraded to CRT. Traditional factors associated with a favorable response to CRT in de novo implants (female gender, nonischemic cardiomyopathy, and wider baseline QRS duration) are not significantly associated with response in upgraded patients. Duration of RVP before CRT upgrade is not an important determinant of response.

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