Acute echocardiographic optimization of multiple stimulation configurations of cardiac resynchronization therapy through quadripolar left ventricular pacing: a tailored approach

Am Heart J. 2014 Apr;167(4):546-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2013.12.028. Epub 2014 Jan 14.


Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is ineffective in approximately 30% of recipients, in part due to sub-optimal left ventricular (LV) pacing location. The Quartet LV lead, with 2 additional electrodes proximal to conventional bipolar lead electrodes, enables 10 different pacing configurations at four independent LV locations. In a CRT patient cohort, we sought to evaluate the spectrum of echocardiographic and electrocardiographic response over these 10 configurations, to select the optimal one in each patient. Moreover, we sought to evaluate the 6-months clinical and echocardiographic response to a "tailored approach" in which the optimal LV pacing configuration for CRT was determined by echocardiographic measures, QRSd and pacing capture thresholds.

Methods: Twenty-two consecutive CRT indicated patients were implanted with a quadripolar CRT system (St. Jude Medical). Optimal LV pacing configuration was determined by echocardiographic measures, including velocity time integral (VTI), myocardial performance index (MPI) and mitral regurgitation (MR), and an electrocardiographic measure (QRS duration) during pacing from each of the configurations at pre-discharge. The optimal LV pacing vector was chosen for every patient. Clinical and echocardiographic assessment was repeated after 6 months.

Results: Various configurations provided different VTI, MPI, MR and QRSd values. Conventional bipolar vectors (ie, D1-M2, D1-RVc, M2-RVc) were rarely associated with the best echocardiographic improvements and provided significantly worse VTI, MR, MPI, and QRSd values than the best configuration for every patient (P = .005, P = .05 and P = .03 for VTI; P = .01, P = .005 and P = .001 for MPI; P = .003, P = .01 and P = .005 for MR, P > .5, P = .01 and P = .05 for QRSd) Conversely, "unconventional" proximal configurations (ie, making use of P4 and M3 electrodes) were generally characterized by higher acute VTI, MR and MPI improvements. CRT devices were reprogrammed with an "unconventional" LV pacing configuration in 50% of patients. A significant improvement in New York Heart Association class (81%), LV ejection fraction (76%), end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes was observed after 6 months (P = .02, P < .001, P = .02 and P = .003, respectively).

Conclusions: In this study, conventional bipolar vectors of quadripolar-CRT were rarely associated with the best echocardiographic improvements. Quadripolar CRT utilizing optimal LV pacing configuration was associated with a significant improvement in New York Heart Association class and LV ejection fraction after 6 months.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / standards*
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*