29 August 2014
In this study, we sought to determine whether myocardial contractile reserve (CR) assessed by dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) can identify patients who experience nearly complete normalization of left ventricular (LV) function after the implantation of a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) pacemaker.
The study group consisted of 55 consecutive patients with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, LV ejection fraction (LVEF) < 35%, and prolonged QRS complex duration, who were scheduled for CRT pacemaker implantation. The DSE (20 µg/kg/min) was performed in all patients. The CR assessment was based on a change in the wall motion score index (ΔWMSI) and ΔLVEF during DSE. Super-response was defined as an increase in LVEF to > 50% and reduction in left ventricular end-systolic dimension to < 40 mm 12 months following the CRT implantation.
A total of 7 patients (12.7%) were identified as super-responders to CRT. When compared to non-super-responders, these patients had significantly higher values of the dobutamine-induced change in ΔWMSI (1.031 ±0.120 vs. 0.49 ±0.371, p < 0.01), and ΔEF (17.9 ±2.2 vs. 8.8 ±6.2, p < 0.01). Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that dobutamine-induced changes in ΔWMSI ≥ 0.7 and ≥ 14% for ΔEF are the best discriminators for a super-response. Patients with ΔWMSI ≥ 0.7 and ΔEF ≥ 14% are significantly less often hospitalized ( p < 0.01) for worsening of heart failure during 28.5 ±3.0 months of the follow-up.