Accidental malpositioning of a right ventricular (RV) electrode has not been previously reported in the context of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
The case of a 75-year old male patient with dilative cardiomyopathy, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction 23%, New York Heart Association functional heart failure status stage III, left bundle branch block (LBBB) with QRS width of 136 ms, and misplacement of the RV lead to the LV apex during implantation of a CRT defibrillator is described.
Following unremarkable implantation, routine interrogation of the CRT device on the first day after the implantation revealed uneventful technical findings. The 12-lead surface electrocardiogram (ECG) showed biventricular stimulation featuring a narrow QRS complex with incomplete right bundle branch block (RBBB) and R>S in V1. The biplane postoperative chest X-ray was graded normal. On routine follow-up one month later, a transthoracic echocardiogram revealed an increased ejection fraction of 51% but the RV lead was placed in the LV apex. An additional transesophageal echocardiogram exhibited an Eustachian valve guiding the lead via the patent foramen ovale through the mitral valve into the LV apex. Operative revision was scheduled and the active fixation lead was uneventful removed from the LV. A new electrode was inserted and placed in the RV apex.
Accidental malplacement of the RV electrode to the LV may be difficult to diagnose in the context of CRT patients as a stimulated biventricular ECG with incomplete RBBB appearance is expected in this situation. Careful analysis of lateral radiographic views during the operation is important to ensure correct lead positioning. As timely revision is the preferred procedure, early routine transthoracic echocardiography may be considered for detection of malplacement.
Misplaced Leads; Malpositioned Leads; Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator; Pacemaker; Cardiac Resynchronzation Therapy; Complications
T-wave oversensing occurs when the counter starts giving dual beeps for every cardiac cycle instead of one. This usually happens when the monitoring lead displays a tall T wave, which is also sharp. R wave sensing algorithms of the devices do not sense T wave because the slow rate of the T wave is much less than that of the R wave. But the slow rate of T waves may change with time and also because of parameters like potassium levels and hyperglycemia. We present a 67-year-old female who underwent the implantation of cardiac resynchronization therapy (cardiac resynchronization and implantable cardioverter defibrilator [CRT-D]) because of severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction and ventricular dyssynchrony experienced recurrent inappropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) shocks and CRT failure. Device analysis showed that the CRT failure was in consequence of T-wave oversensing due to hyperglycemia. Elimination of the T-wave oversensing after hyperglycemia control conferred good biventricular pacing and good response to CRT during a 6-month follow-up period.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Cardiac pacing, artficial; Hyperglycemia
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is associated with reverse left ventricular (LV) remodelling. However, the effects of CRT-induced mechanical remodelling on electrical remodelling, and the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias have not been clearly established. We studied the relationship between mechanical remodelling, electrical remodelling, and the occurrence of appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy 1 year after CRT.
Methods and results
We analysed data from 45 patients who underwent ICD-CRT implantation at our centre. Significant LV reverse remodelling was defined by a minimum 10% decrease in the LV end-diastolic diameter (LVEDd) at 1 year of follow-up. Electrocardiographic indices of dispersion of repolarization [QTc, Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) and their dispersion] were measured immediately and 1 year post-CRT implantation. The occurrence of appropriate ICD therapy was noted for each patient. Patients with (n= 21) and without (n= 24) significant LV reverse remodelling had similar baseline characteristics. At 1 year of follow-up, patients with mechanical reverse LV remodelling exhibited a significant decrease in QTc (505 ± 42 vs. 485 ± 52 ms, P < 0.05) and Tp–e (107 ± 26 vs. 92 ± 22 ms, P < 0.0001). However, patients without mechanical LV reverse remodelling exhibited a significant increase in QT dispersion (29 ± 43 vs. 98 ± 47 ms, P = 0.002) and Tp–e dispersion (22 ± 21 vs. 54 ± 36 ms, P = 0.0001). Finally patients with mechanical LV reverse remodelling experienced a lower rate of ICD therapy (P = 0.0025) after a mean follow-up of 19 months.
Reverse LV mechanical remodelling is associated with reversal of electrical remodelling and a lower rate of appropriate ICD therapy following CRT.
Dispersion of repolarization; Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Remodelling
Predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) remains a challenge. We evaluated the role of baseline QRS pattern to predict response in terms of improvement in biventricular ejection fraction (EF).
Consecutive patients (pts) undergoing CRT implantation underwent radionuclide angiography at baseline and at mid-term follow-up. The relationship between baseline QRS pattern and mechanical dyssynchrony using phase analysis was evaluated. Changes in left and right ventricular EF (LVEF and RVEF) were analyzed with regard to baseline QRS pattern.
We enrolled 56 pts, 32 with left bundle branch block (LBBB), 4 with right bundle branch block (RBBB) and 20 with non-specific intraventricular conduction disturbance (IVCD). A total of 48 pts completed follow-up. LBBB pts had significantly greater improvement in LVEF compared to RBBB or non-specific IVCD pts (+9.6 ± 10.9% vs. +2.6 ± 7.6%, p = 0.003). Response (defined as ≥ 5% increase in LVEF) was observed in 68% of LBBB vs. 24% of non-specific IVCD pts (p = 0.006). None of the RBBB pts were responders. RVEF was significantly improved in LBBB (+5.0 ± 9.0%, p = 0.007), but not in non-specific IVCD and RBBB pts (+0.4 ± 5.8%, p = 0.76). At multivariate analysis, LBBB was the only predictor of LVEF response (OR, 7.45; 95% CI 1.80-30.94; p = 0.006), but not QRS duration or extent of mechanical dyssynchrony.
Presence of a LBBB is a marker of a positive response to CRT in terms of biventricular improvement. Pts with non-LBBB pattern show significantly less benefit from CRT than those with LBBB.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Left ventricular ejection fraction; Right ventricular ejection fraction; Dyssynchrony; Nuclear angiography; QRS morphology
The PROSPECT trial reported no single echocardiographic measurement of dyssynchrony is recommended to improve patient selection for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
Material and methods
In 100 consecutive patients who received CRT, we analyzed 27 ECG and echocardiographic variables to predict a positive response to CRT defined as a left ventricular (LV) end systolic volume decrease of ≥ 15% after CRT.
Right ventricular (RV) pacing-induced left bundle branch block (LBBB), time difference between LV ejection measured by tissue Doppler and pulsed wave Doppler (TTDI-PW), and wall motion score index (WMSI) were significantly associated with positive CRT response by multivariate regression. We assigned 1 point for RV pacing-induced LBBB, 1 point for WMSI ≤ 1.59, and 2 points for TTDI-PW > 50 ms. Overall mean response score was 1.79 ±1.39. Cutoff point for response score to predict positive response to CRT was > 2 by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Area under ROC curve was 0.97 (p = 0.0001). Cardiac resynchronization therapy responders in patients with response score > 2 and ≤ 2 were 36/38 (95%) and 7/62 (11%, p < 0.001), respectively. After age and gender adjustment, the response score was related to CRT response (OR = 45.4, p < 0.0001).
A response score generated from clinical, ECG and echocardiographic variables may be a useful predictor for CRT response. However, this needs to be validated.
cardiac resynchronization therapy; wall motion score index
Cardiac electromechanical dyssynchrony causes regional disparities in workload, oxygen consumption, and myocardial perfusion within the left ventricle. We hypothesized that such dyssynchrony also induces region-specific alterations in the myocardial transcriptome that are corrected by cardiac resynchronization (CRT).
Methods and Results
Adult dogs underwent left bundle branch ablation (LBBB) and right atrial pacing at 200 bpm for either 6 weeks (dyssynchronous heart failure, DHF, n=12) or 3 weeks followed by 3 weeks of resynchronization by bi-ventricular pacing at the same pacing rate (CRT, n=10). Control animals without LBBB were not paced (NF, n=13). At 6 weeks, RNA was isolated from the anterior and lateral LV walls and hybridized onto canine-specific 44K microarrays. Echocardiographically, CRT led to a significant decrease in the dyssynchrony index, while DHF and CRT animals had a comparable degree of LV dysfunction. In DHF, changes in gene expression were primarily observed in the anterior LV, resulting in increased regional heterogeneity of gene expression within the left ventricle. Dyssynchrony-induced expression changes in 1050 transcripts were reversed by CRT to levels of NF hearts (false discovery rate <5%). CRT remodeled transcripts with metabolic and cell signaling function and greatly reduced regional heterogeneity of gene expression compared with DHF.
Our results demonstrate a profound effect of electromechanical dyssynchrony on the regional cardiac transcriptome, causing gene expression changes primarily in the anterior LV wall. CRT corrected the alterations in gene expression in the anterior wall, supporting a global effect of biventricular pacing on the ventricular transcriptome that extends beyond the pacing site in the lateral wall.
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy; Heart Failure; Gene Expression; Microarray
Clinical trials of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) have enrolled a select group of patients, with few patients in subgroups such as right bundle-branch block (RBBB). Analysis of population-based outcomes provides a method to identify real-world predictors of CRT outcomes.
Methods and Results
Medicare Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Registry (2005 to 2006) data were merged with patient outcomes data. Cox proportional-hazards models assessed death and death/heart failure hospitalization outcomes in patients with CRT and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (CRT-D). The 14 946 registry patients with CRT-D (median follow-up, 40 months) had 1-year, 3-year, and overall mortality rates of 12%, 32%, and 37%, respectively. New York Heart Association class IV heart failure status (1-year hazard ratio [HR], 2.23; 3-year HR, 1.98; P<0.001) and age ≥80 years (1-year HR, 1.74; 3-year HR, 1.75; P<0.001) were associated with increased mortality both early and late after CRT-D. RBBB (1-year HR, 1.44; 3-year HR, 1.37; P<0.001) and ischemic cardiomyopathy (1-year HR, 1.39; 3-year HR, 1.44; P<0.001) were the next strongest adjusted predictors of both early and late mortality. RBBB and ischemic cardiomyopathy together had twice the adjusted hazard for death (HR, 1.99; P<0.001) as left BBB and nonischemic cardiomyopathy. QRS duration of at least 150 ms predicted more favorable outcomes in left BBB but had no impact in RBBB. A secondary analysis showed lower hazards for CRT-D compared with standard implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in left BBB compared with RBBB.
In Medicare patients, RBBB, ischemic cardiomyopathy, New York Heart Association class IV status, and advanced age were powerful adjusted predictors of poor outcome after CRT-D. Real-world mortality rates 3 to 4 years after CRT-D appear higher than previously recognized.
bundle-branch block; heart failure; outcomes; registries
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has been shown to decrease mortality in 60-70% of advanced heart failure patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB) and QRS duration > 120 ms. There have been intense efforts to find reproducible non-invasive parameters to predict CRT response. We hypothesized that different left ventricular contraction patterns may exist in LBBB patients with depressed systolic function and applied tagged cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) to assess circumferential strain in this population.
We determined myocardial circumferential strain at the basal, mid, and apical ventricular level in 35 subjects (10 with ischemic cardiomyopathy, 15 with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, and 10 healthy controls). Patterns of circumferential strain were analyzed. Time to peak systolic circumferential strain in each of the 6 segments in all three ventricular slices and the standard deviation of time to peak strain in the basal and mid ventricular slices were determined.
Dyskinesis of the anterior septum and the inferior septum in at least two ventricular levels was seen in 50% (5 out of 10) of LBBB patients while 30% had isolated dyskinesis of the anteroseptum, and 20% had no dyskinesis in any segments, similar to all of the non-LBBB patients and healthy controls. Peak circumferential strain shortening was significantly reduced in all cardiomyopathy patients at the mid-ventricular level (LBBB 9 ± 6%, non-LBBB 10 ± 4% vs. healthy 19 ± 4%; both p < 0.0001 compared to healthy), but was similar among the LBBB and non-LBBB groups (p = 0.20). The LBBB group had significantly greater dyssynchrony compared to the non-LBBB group and healthy controls assessed by opposing wall delays and 12-segment standard deviation (LBBB 164 ± 30 ms vs. non-LBBB 70 ± 17 ms (p < 0.0001), non-LBBB vs. healthy 65 ± 17 ms (p = 0.47)).
Septal dyskinesis exists in some patients with LBBB. Myocardial circumferential strain analysis enables detailed characterization of contraction patterns, strengths, and timing in cardiomyopathy patients with and without LBBB.
Earlier studies have yielded conflicting evidence on whether or not cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) improves left ventricular (LV) rotation mechanics.
Methods and Results
In dogs with left bundle branch block and pacing-induced heart failure (n=7), we studied the effects of CRT on LV rotation mechanics in vivo by 3-dimensional tagged magnetic resonance imaging with a temporal resolution of 14 ms. CRT significantly improved hemodynamic parameters but did not significantly change the LV rotation or rotation rate. LV torsion, defined as LV rotation of each slice with respect to that of the most basal slice, was not significantly changed by CRT. CRT did not significantly change the LV torsion rate. There was no significant circumferential regional heterogeneity (anterior, lateral, inferior, and septal) in LV rotation mechanics in either left bundle branch block with pacing-induced heart failure or CRT, but there was significant apex-to-base regional heterogeneity.
CRT acutely improves hemodynamic parameters without improving LV rotation mechanics. There is no significant circumferential regional heterogeneity of LV rotation mechanics in the mechanically dyssynchronous heart. These results suggest that LV rotation mechanics is an index of global LV function, which requires coordination of all regions of the left ventricle, and improvement in LV rotation mechanics appears to be a specific but insensitive index of acute hemodynamic response to CRT.
MRI; tagging; ventricular function; mechanics; torsional deformation
The clinical benefit of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for patients with moderate-to-severely symptomatic heart failure, left ventricular systolic dysfunction, and ventricular conduction delay is established. However, some patients do not demonstrate clinical improvement following CRT. It is unclear whether systematic optimization of the programmed atrioventricular (AV) delay improves the rate of clinical response.
SMART-AV is a randomized, multicenter, double-blinded, three-armed trial that will investigate the effects of optimizing AV delay timing in heart failure patients receiving CRT + defibrillator (CRT-D) therapy. A minimum of 950 patients will be randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio using randomly permuted blocks within each center programmed to either DDD or DDDR with a lower rate of 60. The study will include echocardiographic measurements of volumes and function [e.g., left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV)], biochemical measurements of plasma biomarker profiles, and functional measurements (e.g., 6-minute hall walk) in CRT-D patients who are enrolled and randomized to fixed AV delay (i.e., 120 ms), AV delay determined by electrogram-based SmartDelay, or an AV delay determined by echocardiography (i.e., mitral inflow). Patients will be evaluated prior to initiation of CRT, 3 and 6 months post-implant. The primary endpoint is the relative change in LVESV at 6 months between the groups. Patient enrollment commenced in May 2008 and the study is registered at clinicaltrials.gov.
SMART-AV is a randomized, clinical trial designed to evaluate three different methods of AV delay optimization to determine whether systematic AV optimization is beneficial for patients receiving CRT for 6 months post-implant.
AV delay; optimization; cardiac resynchronization therapy; biomarkers
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) aims to treat selected heart failure patients suffering from conduction abnormalities with left bundle branch block (LBBB) as the culprit disease. LBBB remained largely underinvestigated until it became apparent that the amount of response to CRT was heterogeneous and that the therapy and underlying pathology were thus incompletely understood. In this review, current knowledge concerning activation in LBBB and during biventricular pacing will be explored and applied to current CRT practice, highlighting novel ways to better measure and treat the electrical substrate.
Left bundle branch block; Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Electrical mapping
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) improves echocardiographic parameters, symptoms, hospitalizations, and mortality in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV symptoms with left ventricular systolic dysfunction, sinus rhythm, and a prolonged QRS duration. The effectiveness of CRT in patients with mild heart failure symptoms has not been systematically reviewed.
Methods and results
Randomized controlled trials of CRT in patients with NYHA Class I or II heart failure were identified from MEDLINE and EMBASE. The effects of CRT on left ventricular remodelling at 1 year were systematically reviewed, and the effects of CRT on clinical outcomes at 1 year were meta-analysed. Two studies met the pre-specified search criteria, with a total of 2430 patients (REVERSE n = 610 and MADIT-CRT n = 1820). CRT was associated with a reduction in heart failure events in both trials [combined OR 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.46–0.70], but not mortality (combined OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.67–1.36). The effect of CRT on the combined endpoint of heart failure events or death favoured CRT (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.51–0.77). CRT was also associated with improvement in left ventricular remodelling parameters in both studies, including a greater increase in left ventricular ejection fraction in the CRT group than in the control group, at 1 year after randomization. Serious adverse events were rare with CRT.
CRT reduces heart failure events in patients with mild heart failure symptoms, left ventricular dysfunction, sinus rhythm, and prolonged QRS duration.
Artificial cardiac pacemaker; Artificial pacemaker; Heart failure; Mortality; Cardiac resynchronization therapy
To study the impact of biventricular pacing (BiV) and scar size on left ventricular (LV) regional and global function using a detailed finite element model of three-dimensional electromechanics in the failing canine heart.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) clinical trials have demonstrated that up to 30% of patients may be classified as non-responders. The presence of a scar appears to contribute to those that do not respond to CRT. A recent study in patients with myocardial scar showed that LV dyssynchrony was the sole independent predictor of reverse remodeling, and not scar location or size.
Two activation sequences were simulated: left bundle branch block (LBBB) and acute simultaneous BiV (with leads in the left and right ventricle) in hearts with chronic scars of various sizes. The dependence of regional function (mean fiber ejection strain, variance of fiber isovolumic strain and fraction of tissue stretched during ejection) and global function (left ventricular dP/dtmax, ejection fraction, stroke work) on scar size and pacing protocol was tested.
Global function and regional function averaged over the whole LV during LBBB and BiV decreased as a function of scar size. In the non-scarred regions, however, regional function was largely independent of scar size for a fixed pacing site.
The model results suggest that uniformity of mechanical contraction in non-scarred regions in the failing heart during biventricular pacing is independent of scar size for a fixed pacing site.
CRT; scar; dog; computational; synchronicity
To investigate the efficacy and safety of a cardiac resynchronization therapy with cardioverter–defibrillator (CRT-D) device with simplified ventricular tachycardia management in patients with non-ischaemic heart failure (HF) and primary prevention implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) indication.
Methods and results
Prospective, controlled, parallel, multicentre, non-randomized study enrolling 324 primary prevention non-ischaemic HF patients implanted with CRT-D devices from 2004 to 2007: Protect group, 164 patients implanted with a Medtronic Insync III Protect device and Control group, 160 patients utilizing other Medtronic CRT-D devices.
Efficacy was assessed by computing appropriate and inappropriate detections and therapies during follow-up; safety compared hospitalizations and syncopal events between groups. Ninety per cent of both ventricular and supraventricular tachyarrhythmias terminated within the 13–29 beat detection interval with the Protect algorithm. The Protect group showed a significantly better event-free survival to first delivered therapy for total (P = 0.0001), appropriately treated (P = 0.002), and inappropriately treated episodes (P = 0.017). The total number of delivered shocks was significantly lower in the Protect group (22 vs. 59, P < 0.0001). In the Protect group, a significantly reduced HF hospitalization (hazard ratio 0.38, 95% CI 0.15–0.98, P = 0.044) was observed without any increase of syncope or death.
A simplified CRT-D device with fixed long detection reduced overall ICD therapy burden and HF hospitalizations without entailing any additional adverse events in primary prevention non-ischaemic HF patients.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Implantable; Defibrillators; Non-ischaemic; Tachyarrhythmias
The utility of defibrillation threshold testing in patients undergoing implantable cardioverter–defibrillator (ICD) implantation is controversial. Higher defibrillation thresholds have been noted in patients undergoing implantation of cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-D). Since the risks and potential benefits of testing may be higher in this population, we sought to assess the impact of defibrillation safety margin or vulnerability safety margin testing in CRT-D recipients.
Methods and results
A total of 256 consecutive subjects who underwent CRT-D implantation between January 2003 and December 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were divided into two groups based on whether (n= 204) or not (n= 52) safety margin testing was performed. Patient characteristics, tachyarrhythmia therapies, procedural results, and clinical outcomes were recorded. Baseline characteristics, including heart failure (HF) severity, were comparable between the groups. Four cases of HF exacerbation (2%), including one leading to one death, were recorded in the tested group immediately post-implantation. No complications were observed in the untested group. After a mean follow-up of 32 ± 20 months, the proportion of appropriate shocks in the two groups was similar (31 vs. 25%, P = 0.49). There were three cases of failed appropriate shocks in the tested group, despite adequate safety margins at implantation, whereas no failed shocks were noted in the untested group. Survival was similar in the two groups.
Defibrillation efficacy testing during implant of CRT-D was associated with increased morbidity and did not predict the success of future device therapy or improve survival during long-term follow-up.
Biventricular implantable cardioverter–defibrillator; Defibrillation threshold; Defibrillation efficacy
Considerable proportion of patients does not respond to the cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). This study investigated clinical relevance of left ventricular electrode local electrogram delay from the beginning of QRS (QLV). We hypothesized that longer QLV indicating more optimal lead placement in the late activated regions is associated with the higher probability of positive CRT response.
We conducted a retrospective, single–centre analysis of 161 consecutive patients with heart failure and LBBB or nonspecific intraventricular conduction delay (IVCD) treated with CRT. We routinely intend to implant the LV lead in a region with long QLV. Clinical response to CRT, left ventricular (LV) reverse remodelling (i.e. decrease in LV end-systolic diameter - LVESD ≥10%) and reduction in plasma level of NT-proBNP >30% at 12-month post-implant were the study endpoints. We analyzed association between pre-implant variables and the study endpoints.
Clinical CRT response rate reached 58%, 84% and 92% in the lowest (≤105 ms), middle (106-130 ms) and the highest (>130 ms) QLV tertile (p < 0.0001), respectively. Longer QRS duration (p = 0.002), smaller LVESD and a non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (both p = 0.02) were also univariately associated with positive clinical CRT response. In a multivariate analysis, QLV remained the strongest predictor of clinical CRT response (p < 0.00001), followed by LVESD (p = 0.01) and etiology of LV dysfunction (p = 0.04). Comparable predictive power of QLV for LV reverse remodelling and NT-proBNP response rates was observed.
LV lead position assessed by duration of the QLV interval was found the strongest independent predictor of beneficial clinical response to CRT.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Reverse remodelling; LV lead location; Electrical dyssynchrony
The combined therapeutic impact of atrial overdrive pacing (AOP) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) on central sleep apnoea (CSA) in chronic heart failure (CHF) so far has not been investigated. We aimed to evaluate the effect of CRT alone and CRT + AOP on CSA in CHF patients and to compare the influence of CRT on CHF between CSA positive and CSA negative patients.
Methods and results
Thirty patients with CRT indication underwent full night polysomnography, echocardiography, exercise testing, and neurohumoral evaluation before and 3 months after CRT implantation. In CSA positive patients (60%), two additional sleep studies were conducted after 3 months of CRT, with CRT alone or CRT + AOP, in random order. Cardiac resynchronization therapy resulted in significant improvements of NYHA class, left ventricular ejection fraction, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, VO2max, and quality of life irrespective of the presence of CSA. Cardiac resynchronization therapy also reduced the central apnoea–hypopnoea index (AHI) (33.6 ± 14.3 vs. 23.8 ± 16.9 h−1; P < 0.01) and central apnoea index (17.3 ± 14.1 vs. 10.9 ± 13.9 h−1; P < 0.01) without altering sleep stages. Cardiac resynchronization therapy with atrial overdrive pacing resulted in a small but significant additional decrease of the central AHI (23.8 ± 16.9 vs. 21.5 ± 16.9 h−1; P < 0.01).
In this study, CRT significantly improved CSA without altering sleep stages. Cardiac resynchronization therapy with atrial overdrive pacing resulted in a significant but minor additional improvement of CSA. Positive effects of CRT were irrespective of the presence of CSA.
Atrial overdrive pacing; Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Central sleep apnoea; Cheyne–Stokes respiration; Chronic heart failure
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is widely applied in patients with heart failure and dyssynchronous contraction (DHF), but the electrophysiological consequences of CRT in heart failure remain largely unexplored.
Methods and Results
Adult dogs underwent left bundle-branch ablation and either right atrial pacing (190 to 200 bpm) for 6 weeks (DHF) or 3 weeks of right atrial pacing followed by 3 weeks of resynchronization by biventricular pacing at the same pacing rate (CRT). Isolated left ventricular anterior and lateral myocytes from nonfailing (control), DHF, and CRT dogs were studied with the whole-cell patch clamp. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blots were performed to measure steady state mRNA and protein levels. DHF significantly reduced the inward rectifier K+ current (IK1), delayed rectifier K+ current (IK), and transient outward K+ current (Ito) in both anterior and lateral cells. CRT partially restored the DHF-induced reduction of IK1 and IK but not Ito, consistent with trends in the changes in steady state K+ channel mRNA and protein levels. DHF reduced the peak inward Ca2+ current (ICa) density and slowed ICa decay in lateral compared with anterior cells, whereas CRT restored peak ICa amplitude but did not hasten decay in lateral cells. Calcium transient amplitudes were depressed and the decay was slowed in DHF, especially in lateral myocytes. CRT hastened the decay in both regions and increased the calcium transient amplitude in lateral but not anterior cells. No difference was found in CaV1.2 (α1C) mRNA or protein expression, but reduced CaVβ2 mRNA was found in DHF cells. DHF reduced phospholamban, ryanodine receptor, and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase and increased Na+-Ca2+ exchanger mRNA and protein. CRT did not restore the DHF-induced molecular remodeling, except for sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase. Action potential durations were significantly prolonged in DHF, especially in lateral cells, and CRT abbreviated action potential duration in lateral but not anterior cells. Early afterdepolarizations were more frequent in DHF than in control cells and were reduced with CRT.
CRT partially restores DHF-induced ion channel remodeling and abnormal Ca2+ homeostasis and attenuates the regional heterogeneity of action potential duration. The electrophysiological changes induced by CRT may suppress ventricular arrhythmias, contribute to the survival benefit of this therapy, and improve the mechanical performance of the heart.
ion channels; remodeling; heart failure; resynchronization; electrophysiology
Some authors recommend avoiding fusion with left ventricular (LV) intrinsic depolarization during cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). If fusion is still present during optimized biventricular (Biv) pacing and its long-term effects on the response to CRT are currently unknown. The aim of the study was to analyse the endocardial LV activation pattern induced by echocardiographically optimized Biv pacing and its influence on LV reverse remodelling.
Methods and results
Contact electro-anatomical mapping was performed in 15 heart failure (HF) patients with left bundle branch block and echocardiographically optimized CRT (seven ischaemic aetiology, 64 ± 8 years, three women, New York Heart Association class 3 ± 0.4, LV ejection fraction 25 ± 5%). Left ventricular activation maps were performed in sinus rhythm (SR), during DDD right ventricular apical (RVA) and optimized Biv pacing. Fusion with intrinsic rhythm during pacing was considered when LV septal activation was produced at least partially by intrinsic depolarization, when compared with LV activation map during SR. Patients were considered responders to CRT if they had ≥10% reduction in LV end-systolic volume (LVESV) after 6 months of CRT. During SR, the LV breakthrough was mid-septal (n = 12), basal septum (n = 2), and apical (n = 1). During RVA pacing, LV breakthrough shifted apical in all patients. Right ventricular apical/Biv pacing proved fusion with intrinsic depolarization in 8 of 15 patients. The PR interval was shorter in patients with fusion RVA/Biv pacing (164 ± 24 vs. 234 ± 55 ms, P = 0.006). There was a trend for shorter LV activation time (LVat) in patients with fusion during RVA pacing (87 ± 33 vs. 113 ± 21 ms, P = 0.08) as well as during optimized Biv pacing (83 ± 18 vs. 104 ± 24 ms, P = 0.07), although LVat was similar in SR (100 ± 22 vs. 106 ± 20, P = NS). In patients with fusion, 6 months responder rate was significantly higher (100 vs. 28.5%, P < 0.007) as was the degree of LVESV reduction (39 ± 17 vs. 1.0 ± 14%, P < 0.001).
Biventricular pacing with fusion may substantially increase the structural responder rate probably by shortening LVat.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy; RVA pacing; Fusion; Activation time
Myotonic dystrophy is a genetic muscular disease that is frequently associated with cardiac arrhythmias. Bradyarrhythmias, such as sinus bradycardia and atrioventricular block, are more common than tachyarrhythmias. Rarely, previously undiagnosed patients with myotonic dystrophy initially present with a tachyarrhythmia. We describe the case of a 14-year-old boy, who was admitted to the hospital with clinical signs and symptoms of decompensated heart failure and severely reduced left ventricular function. Electrocardiography showed common-type atrial flutter with 2 : 1 conduction resulting in a heart rate of 160 bpm. Initiation of medical therapy for heart failure as well as electrical cardioversion led to a marked clinical improvement. Catheter ablation of atrial flutter was performed to prevent future cardiac decompensations and to prevent development of tachymyopathy. Left ventricular function normalized during followup. Genetic analysis confirmed the clinical suspicion of myotonic dystrophy as known in other family members in this case.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is an established treatment in advanced heart failure (HF). However, an important subset does not derive a significant benefit. Despite an established predictive role in HF, the significance of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction in predicting clinical benefit from CRT remains unclear. We investigated the role of RV function, assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), in predicting response to and major adverse clinical events in HF patients undergoing CRT.
Sixty consecutive patients were evaluated with CMR prior to CRT implantation in a tertiary cardiac centre. The primary end-point was a composite of death from any cause or unplanned hospitalization for a major cardiovascular event. The secondary end-point was response to therapy, defined as improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction ≥ 5% on echocardiography at one year.
Eighteen patients (30%) met the primary end-point over a median follow-up period of 26 months, and 27 out of 56 patients (48%) were considered responders to CRT. On time-to-event analysis, only atrial fibrillation (HR 2.6, 95% CI 1.02-6.84, p = 0.047) and RV dysfunction, either by a reduced right ventricular ejection fraction-RVEF (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.99, p = 0.006) or tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion-TAPSE (HR 0.88, 95% CI, 0.80-0.96, p = 0.006), were significant predictors of adverse events. On logistic regression analysis, preserved RVEF (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01-1.09, p = 0.01) and myocardial scar burden (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83-0.96, p = 0.004) were the sole independent predictors of response to CRT. Patients with marked RV dysfunction (RVEF < 30%) had a particularly low response rate (18.2%) to CRT.
Right ventricular function is an important predictor of both response to CRT and long-term clinical outcome. Routine assessment of the right ventricle should be considered in the evaluation of patients for CRT.
heart failure; cardiac resynchronization therapy; right ventricular function; cardiovascular magnetic resonance
Cardiogenic shock has a poor prognosis with established treatment strategies. We report a 62 years old man with heart failure exacerbating into refractory cardiogenic shock successfully treated with the combination of a percutaneous left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and subacute cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) implantable cardioverter-defibrillator device (CRT-D).
The aim of this study is to show the feasibility of a biventricular implantable cardioverter-defibrillator [cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)–ICD] implantation using an electroanatomic navigation system and a low dose of fluoroscopy. Here four case reports of patients affected by dilated cardiomyopathy, who underwent cardiac resynchronization therapy, are described.
Methods and results
During 2010, four patients were admitted to our Cardiology Department for implantation of an CRT–ICD device in primary prevention. All had an ejection fraction of <35% and were in New York Heart Association class III despite optimal medical therapy. The implantations were performed using the EnSite NavX system. All the leads were positioned in the cardiac chambers utilizing the three-dimensional navigation system and only using X-ray to check that the leads had been positioned correctly. To our knowledge, these cases are the first use of an electroanatomic system for implantation of an CRT–ICD device and in all four cases the cannulation of the coronary sinus (CS) was performed only using the mapping system. Electroanatomic navigation made it possible to minimize X-ray exposure during the implantation of the CRT–ICD device; in addition, the mapping system was used to choose the optimum position of the CS catheter using as reference the maximum activation delay between the two ventricles.
The NavX system shows great potential during the implantation of an CRT–ICD device. It seems to be feasible, safe, and extremely beneficial in terms of a reduction in X-ray exposure. Furthermore, there is benefit of more detailed information and accuracy during the CS lead placement.
Implantation biventricular cardioverter-defibrillator; Non-fluoroscopy imaging; Electroanatomic navigation system
A 57-year-old male patient with coronary artery disease developed a pseudoaneurysm after an inferior infarct in 1997. He underwent coronary bypass surgery and resection of the pseudoaneurysm located at the inferior wall. Unfortunately, the pseudoaneurysm recurred due to dehiscence of the patch, necessitating a second surgical intervention. After six years he developed progressive heart failure due to severe left ventricular dysfunction. He was referred to our institution for cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) because of drug refractory heart failure which was associated with a left bundle branch block, ejection fraction of 12%, and a NYHA class IV status. After successful implantation of a biventricular pacemaker, a remarkable clinical recovery was observed. Left ventricular function improved and echocardiography now demonstrated that the pseudoaneurysm at the inferior wall had recurred for the third time. This diagnosis could not be established by preoperative echocardiography.
cardiac resynchronisation therapy; coronary artery disease; pseudoaneurysm
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a new treatment for refractory heart failure. However, most heart failure patients treated with CRT are middle-aged or old patients with idiopathic or ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. We treated a 17 year 11 month old girl with dilated cardiomyopathy after mitral valve replacement (MVR) and septal anterior ventricular exclusion (SAVE). Seven years after the SAVE procedure, she presented complaining of palpitations and general fatigue with normal activity. Her echocardiogram showed reduced left ventricular function. Despite of optimal medical therapy, her left ventricular function continued to decline and she experienced regular arrhythmias such as premature ventricular contractions. We thus elected to perform cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D). After CRT-D, her clinical symptoms improved dramatically and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improved from 31.2% to 51.3% as assessed by echocardiogram. Serum BNP levels decreased from 448.2 to 213.6 pg/ml. On ECG, arrhythmias were remarkably reduced and QRS duration was shortened from 174 to 152 msec. In conclusion, CRT-D is an effective therapeutic option for adolescent patients with refractory heart failure after left ventricular volume reduction surgery.