Speckle-Tracking Radial Strain Reveals Left Ventricular Dyssynchrony in Patients With Permanent Right Ventricular Pacing
Objectives: Speckle-tracking strain analysis was used to assess the effects of permanent right ventricular (RV) pacing on the heterogeneity in timing of regional wall strain and left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony. Background: Recent studies have shown detrimental effects of RV pacing, possibly related to the induction of LV dyssynchrony. Methods: Fifty-eight patients treated with His bundle ablation and pacemaker implantation were studied. To assess the effect of RV pacing on time-to-peak radial strain of different LV segments, we applied speckle-tracking analysis to standard LV short-axis images. In addition, New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class, LV volumes, and systolic function were assessed at baseline and after long-term RV pacing. Results: At baseline, similar time-to-peak strain for the 6 segments was observed (mean 371 ± 114 ms). In contrast, after a mean of 3.8 ± 2.0 years of RV pacing, there was a marked heterogeneity in time-to-peak strain of the 6 segments. In 33 patients (57%), LV dyssynchrony, represented by a time difference ≥130 ms between the time-to-peak strain of the (antero)septal and the posterolateral segments, was present. In these patients, a deterioration of LV systolic function and NYHA functional class was observed. In 11 patients, an "upgrade" of the conventional pacemaker to a biventricular pacemaker resulted in partial reversal of the detrimental effects of RV pacing. Conclusions: Speckle-tracking analysis revealed that permanent RV pacing induced heterogeneity in time-to-peak strain, resulting in LV dyssynchrony in 57% of patients, associated with deterioration of LV systolic function and NYHA functional class. Biventricular pacing may reverse these adverse effects of RV pacing.