This study reports on the methods and results of applying right-sided atrioventricular (AV) pacing in 26 patients with advanced cardiomyopathy. Ten of these patients had ischemic cardiomyopathy. Of the 16 patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy, 10 were idiopathic and 6 were due to secondary causes. The patients had a mean age of 56 ± 12 years and a left ventricular ejection fraction of 26 ± 11%. Two transvenous stimulation electrodes were temporarily placed in the high right atrium and right ventricle, respectively. A Swan Ganz catheter was positioned into the pulmonary artery to determine cardiac output by the thermodilution method and to measure the pressure in the pulmonary artery and right atrium. In addition, aortic pressure was measured through a catheter sheath via the right femoral artery. Systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance were calculated. Stimulation was performed in VVI and DDD pacing modes using different AV intervals (40, 80, 125, 150, 175, 200, and 250 msec). No increase of cardiac output was observed for the overall study cohort (p = 0.51). At VVI pacing, stroke volume significantly decreased from 66 ± 20 mL to 53 ± 13 mL (p <0.01). We distinguished between responders who developed an increase of cardiac output of > 1L/min (n = 12, 46%) and nonresponders (n = 14, 54%). Etiology of either ischemic or nonischemic cardiomyopathy for responders, as well as conduction disturbances (first-degree AV block, LBBB, RBBB), were equally distributed among both groups. Using an AV delay of 150 and 175 msec, responders to DDD pacing derived a significant increase in cardiac output. An AV delay of 150 msec produced both a significant increase of stroke volume and decrease of systemic vascular resistance. In 46% of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy of either ischemic or nonischemic origin, right-sided AV-sequential pacing brought about an improvement of left ventricular function in terms of enhanced cardiac output. We suggest individual testing in all patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction to find responders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine