Usefulness of the 12-lead electrocardiogram in the follow-up of patients with cardiac resynchronization devices. Part II
Florida Heart Rhythm Institute, Tampa, Florida, USA.Cardiology journal (Impact Factor: 1.06). 11/2011; 18(6):610-24. DOI: 10.5603/CJ.2011.0024
The interval from the pacemaker stimulus to the onset of the earliest paced QRS complex (latency) may be prolonged during left ventricular (LV) pacing. Marked latency is more common with LV than right ventricular (RV) pacing because of indirect stimulation through a coronary vein and higher incidence of LV pathology including scars. During simultaneous biventricular (BiV) pacing a prolonged latency interval may give rise to an ECG dominated by the pattern of RV pacing with a left bundle branch block configuration and commonly a QS complex in lead V1. With marked latency programming the V-V interval (LV before RV) often restore the dominant R wave in lead V1 representing the visible contribution of the LV to overall myocardial depolarization. When faced with a negative QRS complex in lead V1 during simultaneous BiV pacing especially in setting of a relatively short PR interval, the most likely diagnosis is ventricular fusion with the intrinsic rhythm. Fusion may cause misinterpretation of the ECG because narrowing of the paced QRS complex simulates appropriate BiV capture. The diagnosis of fusion depends on temporary reprogramming a very short atrio-ventricular delay or an asynchronous BiV pacing mode. Sequential programming of various interventricular (V-V) delays may bring out a diagnostic dominant QRS complex in lead V1 that was previously negative with simultaneous LV and RV apical pacing even in the absence of an obvious latency problem. The emergence of a dominant R wave by V-V programming strongly indicates that the LV lead captures the LV from the posterior or the posterolateral coronary vein and therefore rules out pacing from the middle or anterior coronary vein. In some cardiac resynchronization systems LV pacing is achieved with the tip electrode of the LV lead as the cathode and the proximal electrode of the bipolar RV as the anode. This arrangement creates a common anode for both RV and LV pacing. RV anodal capture can occur at a high LV output during BiV pacing when it may cause slight ECG changes. During LV only pacing (RV channel turned off) RV anodal pacing may also occur in a more obvious form so that the ECG looks precisely like that during BiV pacing. RV anodal stimulation may complicate threshold testing and ECG interpretation and should not be misinterpreted as pacemaker malfunction. Programming the V-V interval (LV before RV) in the setting of RV anodal stimulation cancels the V-V timing to zero.
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ABSTRACT: Prevalence of persistent atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy remains high. Several factors, including suboptimal biventricular capture rates, compound the significant mortality and response rates in patients with atrial fibrillation and severe heart failure. Atrioventricular nodal ablation provides the best mean of rate control in this population. In this article, the authors evaluate a recently published trial addressing this issue in a prospective fashion and discuss the results and clinical applications.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Assessment of left ventricular (LV) capture is of paramount importance in patients with biventricular (BiV) pacing. Our goal was to identify electrocardiographic features that differentiate between BiV and right ventricular (RV)-only pacing in patients with nonapical RV leads. Methods: The study enrolled 300 consecutive patients with BiV devices and nonapical RV leads, and obtained from them 558 electrocardiograms with either BiV pacing (n = 300) or RV-only pacing (n = 258). RV pacing served as a surrogate for loss of LV capture. Electrocardiograms from the first 150 patients were used to identify BiV-specific features, and to construct an algorithm to differentiate between BiV and RV-only pacing. Electrocardiograms from the second 150 patients were used to validate the algorithm. Results: The following electrocardiographic features typical of BiV pacing were identified: QS in lead V6 (specificity = 98.7%, sensitivity = 54.7%), dominant R in lead V1 (specificity = 100%, sensitivity = 23.3%), q in lead V6 (specificity = 96%, sensitivity = 22.7%), and a QRS < 160 ms (specificity = 100%, sensitivity = 66.0%). The algorithm based on those features was found to have an overall diagnostic accuracy of 95.0%, a specificity of 96.0%, and a sensitivity of 93.5%. Conclusions: The study identified QRS features that were very specific for BiV pacing in patients with nonapical RV leads. Sequential arrangement of those features resulted in an algorithm that was very accurate for differentiating between BiV pacing and loss of LV capture.
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