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Echocardiography. 2015 Mar;32(3):490-5. doi: 10.1111/echo.12694. Epub 2014 Jul 24.

Global myocardial contractile reserve assessed by high-dose dobutamine stress echocardiography predicts response to the cardiac resynchronization therapy.

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Department of Cardiology, Safarik University and East-Slovak Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Košice, Slovak Republic.



Myocardial contractile reserve (CR) is a strong prognostic factor in patients with heart failure. The presence of significant myocardial fibrosis can lead to a reduced response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). We assumed that myocardial CR assessed by high-dose dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) would predict response to CRT.


Fifty-two consecutive symptomatic patients with heart failure (New York Heart Association [NYHA] class III), with depressed ejection fraction (EF) of the left ventricle (26.3 ± 6.9%) and dyssynchronous contractions (QRS duration 149.8 ± 23.8 msec) underwent DSE before CRT implantation. The difference in EF at rest and at peak (40 μg/kg per minute) DSE indicated global CR. Responders to CRT were defined by a decrease in left ventricular end-systolic volume of ≥15% and/or an increase in EF of ≥5% after 6 months of CRT.


During high-dose dobutamine infusion, responders (28 patients, 54%) showed a greater increase in EF compared with nonresponders (Δ 11 ± 7% vs. Δ 2 ± 9%, P = 0.007). CR correlated moderately with an improvement in EF after 6 months of CRT (r = 0.50, P = 0.0009). Furthermore, responders showed significant improvement in clinical status, evaluated by a reduction in NYHA functional class (-0.8 ± 0.6 vs. 0.1 ± 0.4, P = 0.02), compared with nonresponders. A 7% exercise-induced increase in EF yielded sensitivity of 79% and specificity of 87% in predicting the response to CRT after 6 months.


Myocardial CR assessed by high-dose DSE can play a potentially important role in identifying responders to CRT.


cardiac resynchronization therapy; myocardial viability; stress echocardiography

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