Right ventricular (RV) failure in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), and other types of pulmonary arterial hypertension is associated with right-to-left ventricle (LV) delay in peak myocardial shortening and, consequently, the onset of diastolic relaxation. We aimed to establish whether RV pacing may resynchronize the onsets of RV and LV diastolic relaxation, and improve haemodynamics.Methods and results
Fourteen CTEPH patients (mean age 63.7 ± 12.0 years, 10 women) with large (≥60 ms) RV-to-LV delay in the onset of diastolic relaxation (DIVD, diastolic interventricular delay) were studied. Temporary RV pacing was performed by atrioventricular (A-V) sequential pacing with incremental shortening of A-V delay to advance RV activation. Effects were assessed using tissue Doppler echocardiography and LV pressure–conductance catheter measurements in a subset of patients. Compared with right atrial pacing, RV pacing at optimal A-V delay (average 140 ± 22 ms, range 120–180 ms) resulted in significant DIVD reduction (59 ± 19 to 3 ± 22 ms, P< 0.001), and increase in LV stroke volume as measured by LV outflow tract velocity-time integral (14.9 ± 2.8 to 16.9 ± 3.0 cm, P< 0.001), along with enhanced global RV contractility and LV diastolic filling.Conclusion
Right-to-left ventricle resynchronization of the onset of diastolic relaxation results in stroke volume increase in CTEPH patients. Whether RV pacing may be a novel therapeutic target in RV failure following chronic pressure overload remains to be investigated.