Pulmonary Right Ventricular Resynchronization in Congenital Heart Disease: Acute Improvement in Right Ventricular Mechanics and Contraction Efficiency

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Background—Electromechanical discoordination may contribute to long-term pulmonary right ventricular (RV) dysfunction in patients after surgery for congenital heart disease. We sought to evaluate changes in RV function after temporary RV cardiac resynchronization therapy.Methods and Results—Twenty-five patients aged median 12.0 years after repair of tetralogy of Fallot and similar lesions were studied echocardiographically (n=23) and by cardiac catheterization (n=5) after primary repair (n=4) or after surgical RV revalvulation for significant pulmonary regurgitation (n=21). Temporary RV cardiac resynchronization therapy was applied in the presence of complete right bundle branch block by atrial-synchronized RV free wall pacing in complete fusion with spontaneous ventricular depolarization using temporary electrodes. The q-RV interval at the RV free wall pacing site (mean 77.2% of baseline QRS duration) confirmed pacing from a late activated RV area. RV cardiac resynchronization therapy carried significant decrease in QRS duration (P<0.001) along with elimination of the right bundle branch block QRS morphology, increase in RV filling time (P=0.002), pulmonary artery velocity time integral (P=0.006), and RV maximum +dP/dt (P<0.001), and decrease in RV index of myocardial performance (P=0.006). RV mechanical synchrony improved: septal-to-lateral RV mechanical delay decreased (P<0.001) and signs of RV dyssynchrony pattern were significantly abolished. RV systolic stretch fraction reflecting the ratio of myocardial stretching and contraction during systole diminished (P=0.001).Conclusions—In patients with congenital heart disease and right bundle branch block, RV cardiac resynchronization therapy carried multiple positive effects on RV mechanics, synchrony, and contraction efficiency.

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