Background: Acute left ventricular pacing has been associated with hemodynamic improvement in patients with congestive heart failure and wide QRS complex. We hypothesized that pacing two left ventricular sites simultaneously would produce faster activation and better systolic function than single-site pacing.
Methods: We selected 14 heart failure patients (NYHA functional class III or IV) in normal sinus rhythm with left bundle branch block and QRS > 150 ms. An 8F dual micromanometer catheter was placed in the aorta for measuring +dP/dt (mmHg/s), aortic pulse pressure (mmHg), and end-diastolic pressure (mmHg). Pacing leads were positioned via coronary veins at the posterior base and lateral wall. Patients were acutely paced VDD at the posterior base, lateral wall, and both sites (dual-site) with 5 atrioventricular delays (from 8 ms to PR -30 ms). Pacing sequences were executed in randomized order using a custom external computer (FlexStim, Guidant CRM).
Results: Dual-site pacing increased peak +dP/dt significantly more than posterior base and lateral wall pacing. Dual-site and posterior base pacing raised aortic pulse pressure significantly more than lateral wall pacing. Dual-site pacing shortened QRS duration by 22 %, whereas posterior base and lateral wall pacing increased it by 2 and 12%, respectively (p = 0.006).
Conclusions: In heart failure patients with left bundle branch block, dual-site pacing improves systolic function more than single-site stimulation. Improved ventricular activation synchrony, expressed by paced QRS narrowing, may account for the additional benefit of dual- vs single-site pacing in enhancing contractility. This novel approach deserves consideration for future heart failure pacing studies.