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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1996 Dec;19(12 Pt 1):2066-71.

An implantable intracardiac accelerometer for monitoring myocardial contractility. The Multicenter PEA Study Group.

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Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


As the myocardium contracts isometrically, it generates vibrations that are transmitted throughout the heart. These vibrations can be measured with an implantable microaccelerometer located inside the tip of an otherwise conventional unipolar pacing lead. These vibrations are, in their audible component, responsible for the first heart sound. The aim of this study was to evaluate, in man, the clinical feasibility and reliability of intracavity sampling of Peak Endocardial Acceleration (PEA) of the first heart sound vibrations using an implantable tip mounted accelerometer. We used a unidirectional accelerometer located inside the stimulating tip of a standard unipolar pacing lead: the sensor has a frequency response of DC to 1 kHz and a sensitivity of 5 mV/G (G = 9.81 m/s-2). The lead was connected to an external signal amplifier with a frequency range of 0.05-1,000 Hz and to a peak-to-peak detector synchronized with the endocardial R wave scanning the isovolumetric contraction phase. Following standard electrophysiological studies, sensor equipped leads were temporarily inserted in the RV of 15 patients (68 +/- 15 years), with normal regional and global ventricular function, to record PEA at rest, during AAI pacing, during VVI pacing, and during dobutamine infusion (up to 20 micrograms/kg per min). PEA at baseline was 1.1 G +/- 0.5 (heart rate = 75 +/- 14 beats/min) and increased to 1.3 G +/- 0.9 (P = NS vs baseline) during AAI pacing (heart rate = 140 beats/min) and to 1.4 G +/- 0.5 (P = NS vs baseline) during VVI pacing (heart rate = 140 beats/min). Dobutamine infusion increased PEA to 3.7 G +/- 1.1 (P < 0.001 vs baseline), with a heart rate of 121 +/- 13 beats/min. In a subset of three patients, simultaneous hemodynamic RV monitoring was performed to obtain RV dP/dtmax, whose changes during dobutamine and pacing were linearly related to changes in PEA (r = 0.9; P < 0.001). In conclusion, the PEA recording can be consistently and safely obtained with an implantable device. Pharmacological inotropic stimulation, but not pacing induced chronotropic stimulation, increases PEA amplitude, in keeping with experimental studies, suggesting that PEA is an index of myocardial contractility. Acute variations in PEA are closely paralleled by changes in RV dP/dtmax, but are mainly determined by LV events. The clinical applicability of the method using RV endocardial leads and an implantable device offers potential for diagnostic applications in the long-term monitoring of myocardial function in man.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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