Background - Left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony caused by premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) has been proposed as a mechanism of PVC-induced cardiomyopathy. We sought to understand the impact of different PVC locations and coupling intervals (prematurity) on LV regional mechanics and global function of the PVC beat itself. Methods and Results - Using our premature pacing algorithm, pentageminal PVCs at coupling intervals of 200 to 375 ms were delivered from the epicardial right ventricular apex, RV outflow tract, and LV free wall, as well as premature atrial contractions, from the left atrial appendage at a coupling interval of 200 ms in 7 healthy canines. LV short-axis echocardiographic images, LV stroke volume, and dP/dt max were obtained during all ectopic beats and ventricular pacing. LV dyssynchrony was assessed by dispersion of QRS-to-peak strain (earliest - last QRS-to-peak strain) between 6 different LV segments during each of the aforementioned beats (GE, EchoPac). LV dyssynchrony was greater during long-coupled rather than short-coupled PVCs and PVCs at 375 ms compared with rapid ventricular pacing at 400 ms (P<0.0001), whereas no difference was found between PVC locations. Longer PVC coupling intervals were associated with greater stroke volume and dP/dt max despite more pronounced dyssynchrony (P<0.001). Conclusions - PVCs with longer coupling intervals demonstrate more pronounced LV dyssynchrony, whereas PVC location has minimal impact. LV dyssynchrony cannot be attributed to prematurity or abnormal ventricular activation alone, but rather to a combination of both. This study suggests that late-coupled PVCs may cause a more severe cardiomyopathy if dyssynchrony is the leading mechanism responsible for PVC-induced cardiomyopathy.
- heart ventricles
- stroke volume
- ventricular dysfunction, left
- ventricular premature contraction