Three-dimensional echocardiographic optimization improves outcome in cardiac resynchronization therapy compared to ECG optimization: a randomized comparison

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2014 Mar;37(3):312-20. doi: 10.1111/pace.12281. Epub 2013 Oct 25.


Aims: There is little consensus on optimal atrioventricular (AV) and ventricular-to-ventricular (VV) intervals in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). The aim of this study was to examine a novel combination of Doppler echocardiography (DE) and three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) for individualized AV- and VV-interval optimization compared to conventional electrocardiogram (ECG) optimization.

Methods: In this double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 77 patients (male: 57, age: 68 ± 10 years) with severely reduced ejection fraction (EF), New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III or IV, and wide QRS complex (>120 ms) have been included. Patients were randomized to either AV- and VV-interval optimization using DE and 3DE (group 1, n = 39) or ECG (group 2, n = 38). 3DE was performed in all patients for the evaluation of left ventricular (LV) dimensions, EF and systolic dyssynchrony index (SDI), and NYHA class obtained before CRT and after 3 months. Primary endpoint of the study was clinical response to CRT, defined as a reduction of NYHA class by ≥1 score. Secondary endpoints were change of EF, LV volumes, and SDI.

Results: There were significantly more responders in group 1 (82%) than in group 2 (58%, P = 0.021). Similarly, group 1 showed a larger increase in EF (7.0 ± 6.0% vs 3.4 ± 5.6%, P = 0.015) and a more pronounced reduction of SDI (-4.5 ± 5.9% vs -1.5 ± 5.6%, P = 0.039) than group 2.

Conclusion: Compared with conventional ECG optimization, this novel echocardiographic optimization protocol resulted in a significantly higher response rate, improved LV systolic function, and may be used to select the optimal AV and VV intervals in CRT.

Keywords: 3D echocardiography; cardiac resynchronization therapy; dyssynchrony; optimization.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy / methods*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • DRKS/00004454