Cardiac resynchronization therapy

Ochsner J. 2009 Winter;9(4):248-56.


Systolic heart failure is a major problem for Americans today, with 550,000 new cases diagnosed per year, and ultimately contributes to 287,000 deaths annually. While pharmacologic therapy has drastically improved outcomes in patients with systolic heart failure, hospitalizations from systolic heart failure continue to increase and remain a major cost burden. In response to this unmet need, recent years have seen dramatic improvements in device-based therapy targeting one cause of systolic dysfunction: dyssynchronous ventricular contraction. Cardiac resynchronization therapy aims to restore mechanical synchrony by electrically activating the heart in a synchronized manner. This review summarizes the rationale for cardiac resynchronization therapy, evidence for its use, current guidelines, and ongoing and future directions for research.

Keywords: Biventricular pacing; cardiac resynchronization therapy; cardiomyopathy; review; systolic heart failure.