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Effect of multisite pacing on ventricular coordination
  1. C Varma,
  2. P O'Callaghan,
  3. N G Mahon,
  4. K Hnatkova,
  5. W McKenna,
  6. A J Camm,
  7. E Rowland,
  8. S J D Brecker
  1. Department of Cardiological Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr C Varma, Department of Cardiological Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW170RE, UK;


Objective: To determine the effect of multisite pacing on left ventricular function.

Design: Prospective observational study.

Patients: 18 patients with heart failure with a dilated poorly functioning left ventricle (LV) and left bundle branch block.

Interventions: Pacing for 5 minutes in random order at the right ventricle (RV) apex, RV outflow tract, mid posterolateral LV, RV apex and LV simultaneously, and RV outflow tract and LV simultaneously. The best achieved measurements with RV, LV, and biventricular pacing were compared.

Main outcome measures: LV dimension, filling characteristics, and long axis indices were measured on echocardiography simultaneously with LV pressure. Cycle efficiency (%)—that is, the ratio of the area of the acquired pressure dimension loop to that of the ideal loop for that segment—quantified coordination.

Results: The pacing site that gave the best achieved cycle efficiency differed between patients (biventricular in five, LV in two, RV in seven, and no site in four). In patients with baseline incoordination (cycle efficiency ≤ 72%, n = 12) cycle efficiency improved significantly with RV pacing (cycle efficiency 76%, p = 0.01) but not with LV (65%) or biventricular (67%) pacing. LV based pacing induced premature short axis contraction in a subset of patients (n = 4), which was associated with a prolonged time from the Q wave on the ECG to the onset of inward movement of the long axis (from apex to mitral ring): biventricular 145 ms, LV 105 ms, RV 85 ms (biventricular v RV, p < 0.05). Excluding patients with baseline incoordination in whom premature activation occurred, pacing at all sites led to a similar increase in cycle efficiency (RV 78%, LV 72%, biventricular 73%).

Conclusions: Ventricular coordination can be improved with pacing in patients with baseline incoordination. Short and long axis fibres may be asynchronised in a subset of patients with LV or biventricular pacing, which may worsen coordination. The clinical significance of these findings remains to be defined.

  • heart failure
  • pacing
  • coordination
  • long axis function
  • LBBB, left bundle branch block
  • LV, left ventricle
  • NYHA, New York Heart Association
  • RV, right ventricle
  • RVOT, right ventricular outflow tract

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