Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) improves hemodynamics and decreases heart failure symptoms. However, the potential of CRT to bring about electrical remodeling of the heart has not been investigated. Methods and Results: We studied 25 patients, of whom 17 had a nonischemic cardiomyopathy, and 8 had an ischemic cardiomyopathy; 16 had left bundle branch block (LBBB), 1 right bundle branch block (RBBB), and 8 nonspecific intraventricular conduction delay. During routine device clinic visits, patients with chronic biventricular pacing (>6 months) were reprogrammed to VVI 40 to allow for native conduction to resume. After 5 minutes of native rhythm, a surface electrocardiogram (ECG) was recorded, and then the previous device settings were restored. This ECG was compared to the preimplant ECG. Preimplant mean ejection fraction was 19% (range, 10%-35%), and follow-up mean ejection fraction was 35% (12.5%-65%). Mean time from implant to follow-up ECG was 14 months (range, 6-31). The QRS interval prior to CRT was 155 ± 29 ms, and shortened to 144 ± 31 ms (P = 0.0006), and the QRS axis shifted from -1 ± 59 to -26 ± 53 (P = 0.03). There was no significant change in PR or QTc interval, or in heart rate. Conclusion: CRT leads to a decrease in the surface QRS duration, without affecting other surface ECG parameters. The reduced electrical activation time may reflect changes in the specialized conduction system or in intramyocardial impulse transmission.
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy
- Heart failure
- Implantable device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine