Objectives: To evaluate the long-term functional and hemodynamic effects of right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) pacing by comparison with right ventricular apical (RVA) pacing.
Background: Acute studies have suggested that RVOT pacing could significantly improve cardiac performance in comparison with RVA pacing but no data are available in chronically implanted patients.
Methods: Sixteen patients with chronic atrial tachyarrhythmia and complete AV block were included. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was > or =40% in ten and <40% in six. Patients were implanted with a standard DDDR pacemaker connected to two ventricular leads. A screw-in lead was placed at the RVOT and connected to the atrial port. A second lead was positioned at the RVA and connected to the ventricular port. Right ventricular outflow tract and RVA pacing was achieved by programming either the AAIR or the VVIR mode respectively. Four months later patients were randomized so as to undergo either RVOT or RVA pacing for three months according to a blind crossover protocol. Apart from the pacing mode, programming remained unchanged throughout the study. At the end of each period, NYHA class, LVEF, exercise time and maximal oxygen uptake were assessed.
Results: No significant difference was observed between the two modes for all the parameters analyzed. These identical results were observed in all patients globally, in patients with LVEF > or =40% as in those with LVEF <40%.
Conclusions: Within the limits of this study, no symptomatic improvement or hemodynamic benefit was noted after three months of RVOT pacing, by comparison with RVA pacing.