Mechanical dyssynchrony from the perspective of a cardiac electrophysiologist

John F. Beshai, Chotikorn Khunnawat, Albert C. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cardiac resynchronization therapy has been shown to improve survival, quality of life, exercise capacity, left ventricular ejection fraction and New York Heart Association functional class in patients with a prolonged QRS and moderate-to-severe heart failure resistant to optimal medical treatment. This patient population has an approximately 30ĝ€"40% nonresponder rate to cardiac resynchronization therapy. It has been proposed that the use of echocardiographic imaging could be a more specific marker of intraventricular conduction delay rather than the surrogate marker of electrical delay demonstrated by prolonged QRS duration. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent clinical trials have evaluated not only how well imaging predicts dyssynchrony (Predictors of Response to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapyĝ€" PROSPECT) but also clinical outcomes in patients with dyssynchrony and narrow QRS duration (resynchronization therapy in narrow QRSĝ€" RETHINQ, evaluation of CRT in narrow QRS patients with mechanical dyssynchrony from a multicenter studyĝ€" ESTEEM-CRT). The former trial failed to demonstrate a single reliable parameter for predicting dyssynchrony, whereas the latter trials did not demonstrate a clinical benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with narrow QRS and evidence of dyssynchrony. SUMMARY: Results of recent clinical trials have challenged the applicability of contemporary echocardiographic techniques in evaluating dyssynchrony to clinical practice at the present time. Currently the optimal lead position is a lateral or posterolateral position with reasonable capture threshold and lack of diaphragm stimulation. With the refining of echocardiographic techniques and technology, perhaps areas of greatest delay may be targeted and used for guiding lead placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • Heart failure
  • Mechanical dyssynchrony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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