Ventricular activation patterns during intrinsic conduction and right ventricular pacing in cardiac resynchronization therapy patients

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2021 Oct;44(10):1663-1670. doi: 10.1111/pace.14329. Epub 2021 Aug 5.


Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) involves stimulation of both right ventricle (RV) and left ventricle (LV). LV pacing from the sites of delayed electrical activation improves CRT response. The RV-LV conduction is typically measured in intrinsic rhythm. The differences in RV-LV conduction patterns and timing between intrinsic rhythm and during paced RV activation, these differences are not fully understood.

Methods: Enrolled patients were implanted with a de novo CRT device and quadripolar LV lead, with lead implant locations at the implanting physician's discretion. QRS duration and conduction delay between the RV lead and each of the four LV electrodes (D1, M2, M3, and P4) were measured during intrinsic conduction and RV pacing.

Results: Conduction measurements were collected from 275 patients across 14 international centers (68 ± 13 years of age, 73% male, 45% ischemic, 158 ± 22 ms QRS duration). Mean RV-LV conduction time was shorter during intrinsic conduction versus RV pacing by 59.6 ms (106.5 ± 36.5 versus 166.1 ± 32.1 ms, p < 0.001). The intra-LV activation delay between the latest and earliest activating LV electrode was also shorter during intrinsic conduction versus RV pacing by 6.6 ms (20.6 ± 13.1 vs. 27.2 ± 21.2 ms, p < 0.001). Intrinsic conduction and RV pacing resulted in a different activation order in 72.7% of patients, and the same LV activation order in 27.3%.

Conclusions: Differences in RV-LV conduction time, intra-LV conduction time, and activation pattern were observed between intrinsic conduction and RV pacing. These findings highlight the importance of evaluating intrinsic versus paced ventricular activation to guide LV pacing site selection in CRT patients.

Keywords: cardiac resynchronization therapy; electrical delay; heart failure; ventricular pacing.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy / methods*
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Devices
  • Female
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prosthesis Design