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Am Heart J. 2012 Nov;164(5):735-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2012.07.026. Epub 2012 Oct 2.

Randomized controlled trial comparing simultaneous versus optimized sequential interventricular stimulation during cardiac resynchronization therapy.

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The Ohio State University Heart Center, Columbus, OH 43210-1252, USA.



Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) reduces morbidity and mortality and improves symptoms in patients with systolic heart failure (HF) and ventricular dyssynchrony. This randomized, double-blind, controlled study evaluated whether optimizing the interventricular stimulating interval (V-V) to sequentially activate the ventricles is clinically better than simultaneous V-V stimulation during CRT.


Patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) III or IV HF, meeting both CRT and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator indications, randomly received either simultaneous CRT or CRT with optimized V-V settings for 6 months. Patients also underwent echocardiography-guided atrioventricular delay optimization to maximize left ventricular filling. The V-V optimization involved minimizing the left ventricular septal to posterior wall motion delay during CRT. The primary objective was to demonstrate noninferiority using a clinical composite end point that included mortality, HF hospitalization, NYHA functional class, and patient global assessment. Secondary end points included changes in NYHA classification, 6-minute hall walk distance, quality of life, peak VO(2), and event-free survival.


The composite score improved in 75 (64.7%) of 116 simultaneous patients and in 92 (75.4%) of 122 optimized patients (P < .001, for noninferiority). A prespecified test of superiority showed that more optimized patients improved (P = .03). New York Heart Association functional class improved in 58.0% of simultaneous patients versus 75.0% of optimized patients (P = .01). No significant differences in exercise capacity, quality of life, peak VO(2), or HF-related event rate between the 2 groups were observed.


These findings demonstrate modest clinical benefit with optimized sequential V-V stimulation during CRT in patients with NYHA class III and IV HF. Optimizing V-V timing may provide an additional tool for increasing the proportion of patients who respond to CRT.


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