Effects of AV Delay and VV Delay on Left Atrial Pressure and Waveform in Ambulant Heart Failure Patients: Insights into CRT Optimization

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We hypothesized that left atrial pressure (LAP) obtained by a permanent implantable sensor is sensitive to changes in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) settings and could guide CRT optimization to improve the response rate. We investigated the effect of CRT optimization on LAP and its waveform parameters in ambulant heart failure (HF) patients.


CRT optimization was performed in eight ambulant HF patients, using echocardiography as reference. LAP waveform was acquired at each of eight atrioventricular (AV) intervals and five inter-ventricular (VV) intervals. Selected waveform parameters were also evaluated for their sensitivity to CRT changes and agreement with echocardiography-guided optimal settings.


Optimal AV and VV intervals varied considerably between patients. All patients exhibited significant changes in waveform morphology with AV optimization. Optimal AV delay determined from echocardiography ranged between 140 ms and 225 ms. Mean LAP tended to be lower at optimal setting 14 ± 3 mmHg compared to shorter (<100 ms) or longer (>160 ms) AV settings (P = 0.16). There were clear trends to smaller peak a-wave (P = 0.11) and gentler positive a-slope (P = 0.15) and positive v-slope (P = 0.09) with longer AV delays. Mean LAP and negative v-wave slope correlated well with echo-guided optimal setting, r = 0.91 (P = 0.001) and 0.79 (P = 0.03), respectively. No significant effects on LAP or waveform were seen during VV optimization.


LAP and its waveform changes considerably with AV optimization. There is good agreement between echo-guided optimal setting and LAP. LAP could provide an objective guide to CRT optimization. (Clinical Trial Registry information: URL:http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique Identifier: NCT00632372)

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