Comparison of left ventricular torsion and strain with biventricular pacing in patients with underlying right bundle branch block versus those with left bundle branch block

Sabe De, Zoran B Popović, David Verhaert, Thomas Dresing, Bruce Wilkoff, Randall Starling, W H Wilson Tang, James D Thomas, Richard A Grimm
American Journal of Cardiology 2015 April 1, 115 (7): 918-23
The benefits of biventricular pacing in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) remain poorly understood in those with right bundle branch block (RBBB). The aim of this study was to examine the differences in several speckle tracking-derived parameters, including left ventricular torsion and longitudinal strain with CRT on and off for patients with underlying left bundle branch block (LBBB) and RBBB. Twelve patients with CRT and RBBB were compared with a similar group of patients with underlying LBBB who were sent for evaluation and atrioventricular optimization. Echocardiographic images were acquired with biventricular pacing on and off. The 2 groups had similar baseline characteristics, including age, the ejection fraction, and QRS duration. During intrinsic conduction (CRT off), patients with LBBB had lower torsion angles than those with RBBB (2.3 ± 1.0° in those with LBBB vs 6.3 ± 1.0° in those with RBBB, p = 0.03) but trended toward improvements in torsional parameters, including torsional angle and peak untwisting velocity with CRT on, whereas these parameters worsened in patients with RBBB. Compared with CRT off, analyses of septal and lateral strain curves showed significant improvements in septal strain during 100% and 200% of systole with CRT on in patients with LBBB, whereas biventricular pacing resulted in a trend toward worsening of septal strain in patients with RBBB. Negligible changes were noted in lateral strain values. In conclusion, CRT favorably improves regional mechanics in patients with LBBB primarily involving the ventricular septum, with a negligible positive impact on cardiac function in patients with underlying RBBB.

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