Objective: To measure ventricular contractile synchrony in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and to evaluate the effects of biventricular pacing on contractile synchrony and ejection fraction.
Background: Dilated cardiomyopathy is characterized by abnormal ventricular activation and contraction. Biventricular pacing may promote a more coordinated ventricular contraction pattern in these patients. We hypothesized that biventricular pacing would improve synchrony of right ventricular and left ventricular (RV/LV) contraction, resulting in improved ventricular ejection fraction.
Methods: Thirteen patients with DCM and intraventricular conduction delay underwent multiple gated equilibrium blood pool scintigraphy. Phase image analysis was applied to the scintigraphic data and mean phase angles computed for the RV and LV. Phase measures of interventricular (RV/LV) synchrony were computed in sinus rhythm and during atrial sensed biventricular pacing (BiV).
Results: The degree of interventricular dyssynchrony present in normal sinus rhythm correlated with LV ejection fraction (r = -0.69, p < 0.01). During BiV, interventricular contractile synchrony improved overall from 27.5 +/- 23.1 degrees to 14.1 +/- 13 degrees (p = 0.01). The degree of interventricular dyssynchrony present in sinus rhythm correlated with the magnitude of improvement in synchrony during BiV (r = 0.83, p < 0.001). Left ventricular ejection fraction increased in all thirteen patients during BiV, from 17.2 +/- 7.9% to 22.5 +/- 8.3% (p < 0.0001) and correlated significantly with improvement in RV/LV synchrony during BiV (r = 0.86, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Dilated cardiomyopathy with intraventricular conduction delay is associated with significant interventricular dyssynchrony. Improvements in interventricular synchrony during biventricular pacing correlate with acute improvements in LV ejection fraction.