ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
CARDIAC RESYNCHRONIZATION IN PATIENTS WITH SEVERE HEART FAILURE: IS AN ALTERNATIVE THERAPY?
Ali Civelek, Wolf Peter Klövekorn
Kerckhoff Clinic Foundation, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Bad Nauheim, Germany
Despite advances in pharmacological therapy, the prognosis of patients with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF) remains poor. Many of these patients have cardiac conduction abnormalities, such as left bundle-branch block or interventricular conduction delays, that can lead to ventricular dyssynchrony (abnormal ventricular activation that results in decreased ventricular filling and abnormal ventricular wall motion). Biventricular (BiV) pacing is an alternative, nonpharmacologic therapy under active investigation for the treatment of CHF. Resynchronization devices with transvenous leads in the right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle (via the coronary sinus) have been implanted in patients to provide atrial triggered biventricular pacing. Preliminary evidence indicates improvement in hemodynamics, quality of life, and exercise capacity in patients in sinus rhythm as well as in patients with atrial fibrillation. An improvement in diastolic filling, a decrease in mitral regurgitation, and more efficient systolic ejection are proposed as the mechanisms behind these benefits. This article reviews the pathophysiology of ventricular dyssynchrony and examine insights from clinical trials that are evaluating cardiac resynchronization therapy for CHF and cardiac surgery.
Keywords : Cardiac resynchronization, biventricular pacemaker, congestive heart failure
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