Left ventricular end-systolic volume is a more sensitive marker of acute response to cardiac resynchronization therapy than contractility indices: insights from an experimental study

Europace. 2019 Feb 1;21(2):347-355. doi: 10.1093/europace/euy221.


Aims: There are conflicting data and no consensus on how to measure acute response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). This study investigates, which contractility indices are best markers of acute CRT response.

Methods and results: In eight anaesthetized dogs with left bundle branch block, we measured left ventricular (LV) pressure by micromanometer and end-diastolic volume (EDV) and end-systolic volume (ESV) by sonomicrometry. Systolic function was measured as LV ejection fraction (EF), peak rate of LV pressure rise (LV dP/dtmax) and as a gold standard of contractility, LV end-systolic elastance (Ees), and volume axis intercept (V0) calculated from end-systolic pressure-volume relations (ESPVR). Responses to CRT were compared with inotropic stimulation by dobutamine. Both CRT and dobutamine caused reduction in ESV (P < 0.01) and increase in LV dP/dtmax (P < 0.05). Both interventions shifted the ESPVR upwards indicating increased contractility, but CRT which reduced V0 (P < 0.01), caused no change in Ees. Dobutamine markedly increased Ees, which is the typical response to inotropic stimulation. Preload (EDV) was decreased (P < 0.01) by CRT, and there was no change in EF. When adjusting for the reduction in preload, CRT increased EF (P = 0.02) and caused a more marked increase in LV dP/dtmax (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Increased contractility by CRT could not be identified by Ees, which is a widely used reference method for contractility. Furthermore, reduction in preload by CRT attenuated improvement in contractility indices such as EF and LV dP/dtmax. These results suggest that changes in LV volume may be more sensitive markers of acute CRT response than conventional contractility indices.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bundle-Branch Block / diagnosis
  • Bundle-Branch Block / physiopathology
  • Bundle-Branch Block / therapy*
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Male
  • Myocardial Contraction*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Stroke Volume*
  • Ventricular Function, Left*
  • Ventricular Pressure