Improvement of Congestive Heart Failure by Upgrading of Conventional to Resynchronization Pacemakers

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To compare the clinical response of patients with right ventricular apical pacing (RVAP) upgraded to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) to that of previously nonpaced heart failure (HF) patients who had de novo CRT implantation.


The role of CRT in patients with wide QRS and HF due to RVAP is less well established than in other CRT candidates.


Ninety-eight consecutive patients with CRT were studied (mean age 70, mean ejection fraction 0.23). Group A: patients having RVAP prior to CRT implantation (n = 25), group B: patients without prior RVAP (n = 73). Clinical and echocardiographic parameters were recorded prior to, and 3 months after, CRT implantation.


Group A patients had a wider QRS at baseline compared to group B (203 ± 32 ms vs 163 ± 30 ms respectively, P < 0.001), and a shorter 6-minute walking distance (222 ± 118 m vs 362 ± 119 m, respectively, P < 0.005). Otherwise, clinical and echocardiographic parameters were not different. At follow up, group A patients had an average 0.7 ± 0.5 decrease in their NYHA functional class, compared to 0.3 ± 0.7 in group B patients (P < 0.05). Six-minute walking distance increased by 93 ± 113 m in group A, versus 36 ± 120 m in group B (P = 0.22). There was no difference in echocardiographic response to CRT between the groups.


HF patients with prior RVAP demonstrate clinical improvement after upgrading to CRT that is comparable, and in some aspects, even better than that observed in HF patients with native conduction delay who undergo de novo CRT implantation.

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