Background: In patients with normal left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF), the interposition of chronic, high-dose right ventricular apical (RVA) pacing may produce late EF decline. Objective: To test the hypothesis that LV dyssynchrony, defined echocardiographically and apparent early after interposition of pacing, would be greater in patients who subsequently demonstrated EF decline. Methods: Ninety-one patients with normal prepacing EF who underwent atrioventricular node ablation and subsequent high-dose RVA pacing were studied. Transthoracic echocardiograms were performed early (median 4 months) and late (median 28 months) after interposition of pacing, with a significant decline in EF between these studies defined as ≥5%. Speckle-tracking longitudinal strain analysis of the early echocardiogram was performed to quantify dyssynchrony. In addition to standard dyssynchrony indices, a novel index of apex-to-base mechanical propagation delay (MPD) was used. Results: Multivariable analysis determined that MPD of the septum correlated with a significant decline in EF, independent of all other dyssynchrony, clinical, or pacing variables. A septal MPD value exceeding 50 ms was associated with EF decline at 81% sensitivity and 88% specificity. Conclusions: Dyssynchrony, in particular septal MPD, measured early after interposition of high-dose RVA pacing predicted a significant late decline in EF in patients who had normal prepacing EF.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart failure