Publications by authors named "Elien B Engels"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Short-Term Hemodynamic and Electrophysiological Effects of Cardiac Resynchronization by Left Ventricular Septal Pacing.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2020 02;75(4):347-359

Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+), Maastricht, the Netherlands; Department of Cardiology, Radboud University Medical Centre (Radboudumc), Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is usually performed by biventricular (BiV) pacing. Previously, feasibility of transvenous implantation of a lead at the left ventricular (LV) endocardial side of the interventricular septum, referred to as LV septal (LVs) pacing, was demonstrated.

Objectives: The authors sought to compare the acute electrophysiological and hemodynamic effects of LVs with BiV and His bundle (HB) pacing in CRT patients.

Methods: Temporary LVs pacing (transaortic approach) alone or in combination with right ventricular (RV) (LVs+RV), BiV, and HB pacing was performed in 27 patients undergoing CRT implantation. Electrophysiological changes were assessed using electrocardiography (QRS duration), vectorcardiography (QRS area), and multielectrode body surface mapping (standard deviation of activation times [SDAT]). Hemodynamic changes were assessed as the first derivative of LV pressure (LVdP/dtmax).

Results: As compared with baseline, LVs pacing resulted in a larger reduction in QRS area (to 73 ± 22 μVs) and SDAT (to 26 ± 7 ms) than BiV (to 93 ± 26 μVs and 31 ± 7 ms; both p < 0.05) and LVs+RV pacing (to 108 ± 37 μVs; p < 0.05; and 29 ± 8 ms; p = 0.05). The increase in LVdP/dtmax was similar during LVs and BiV pacing (17 ± 10% vs. 17 ± 9%, respectively) and larger than during LVs+RV pacing (11 ± 9%; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between basal, mid-, or apical LVs levels in LVdP/dtmax and SDAT. In a subgroup of 16 patients, changes in QRS area, SDAT, and LVdP/dtmax were comparable between LVs and HB pacing.

Conclusions: LVs pacing provides short-term hemodynamic improvement and electrical resynchronization that is at least as good as during BiV and possibly HB pacing. These results indicate that LVs pacing may serve as a valuable alternative for CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.11.040DOI Listing
February 2020

Dynamic atrioventricular delay programming improves ventricular electrical synchronization as evaluated by 3D vectorcardiography.

J Electrocardiol 2020 Jan - Feb;58:1-6. Epub 2019 Oct 20.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: Optimal timing of the atrioventricular delay in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) can improve synchrony in patients suffering from heart failure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of SyncAV™ on electrical synchrony as measured by vectorcardiography (VCG) derived QRS metrics during bi-ventricular (BiV) pacing.

Methods: Patients implanted with a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device and quadripolar left ventricular (LV) lead underwent 12‑lead ECG recordings. VCG metrics, including QRS duration (QRSd) and area, were derived from the ECG by a blinded observer during: intrinsic conduction, BiV with nominal atrioventricular delays (BiV Nominal), and BiV with SyncAV programmed to the optimal offset achieving maximal synchronization (BiV + SyncAV Opt).

Results: One hundred patients (71% male, 40% ischemic, 65% LBBB, 32 ± 9% ejection fraction) completed VCG assessment. QRSd during intrinsic conduction (166 ± 25 ms) was narrowed successively by BiV Nominal (137 ± 23 ms, p < .05 vs. intrinsic) and BiV + SyncAV Opt (122 ± 22 ms, p < .05 vs. BiV Nominal). Likewise, 3D QRS area during intrinsic conduction (90 ± 42 mV ∗ ms) was reduced by BiV Nominal (65 ± 39 mV ∗ ms, p < .05 vs. intrinsic) and further by BiV + SyncAV Opt (53 ± 30 mV ∗ ms, p = .06 vs. BiV Nominal).

Conclusion: With VCG-based, patient-specific optimization of the programmable offset, SyncAV reduced electrical dyssynchrony beyond conventional CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2019.09.026DOI Listing
October 2019

QRS Area Is a Strong Determinant of Outcome in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2018 12;11(12):e006497

Department of Cardiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands (A.M.W.v.S., H.J.G.M.C., K.V.).

Background: The combination of left bundle branch block (LBBB) morphology and QRS duration is currently used to select patients for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). These parameters, however, have limitations. This study evaluates the value of QRS area compared with that of QRS duration and morphology in the association with clinical and echocardiographic outcomes in a large cohort of CRT patients.

Methods: A retrospective multicentre study was conducted in 1492 CRT patients. LBBB morphology, QRS duration, and QRS area in the baseline 12-lead ECG were evaluated for their association with the occurrence of the combined primary end point of all-cause mortality, cardiac transplantation, and left ventricular assist device implantation. Secondary end points were heart failure hospitalization within the first year after implantation and echocardiographic reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume.

Results: During a mean follow-up period of 3.4 years, 32% of patients reached the primary end point. The association of QRS area with all outcomes was stronger than that of LBBB morphology and QRS duration separately and at least as strong as their combination. QRS area identified patients who did not experience the primary end point better than QRS morphology and QRS duration (area under the curve, 0.61 versus 0.55 and 0.51, respectively; P<0.001). Furthermore, QRS area identifies patients with echocardiographic remodeling in response to CRT better than QRS morphology and duration (area under the curve, 0.69 versus 0.58 and 0.58, respectively; P<0.001). QRS area was the only independent electrocardiographic determinant associated with the primary end point; hazard ratio, 0.50 (0.35-0.71). Furthermore, QRS area showed significant association with outcomes in both patients with and without LBBB and QRS ≥150 ms.

Conclusions: QRS area has a strong association to clinical and echocardiographic response to CRT, at least as strong as current patient selection parameters. QRS area may be particularly useful to predict CRT response in patients without a wide LBBB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.118.006497DOI Listing
December 2018

Improved acute haemodynamic response to cardiac resynchronization therapy using multipoint pacing cannot solely be explained by better resynchronization.

J Electrocardiol 2018 Nov - Dec;51(6S):S61-S66. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Background: The recently developed quadripolar left ventricular (LV) leads have been developed to increase the benefit of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). These leads offer the option to stimulate the LV on multiple sites (multipoint pacing, MPP). Invasive haemodynamic measurements have shown that MPP increases haemodynamic response.

Purpose: To investigate whether the beneficial effect of MPP can be explained by better electrical resynchronization.

Methods: Different LV lead locations were tested during biventricular (BiV) pacing and MPP in 29 CRT candidates. The 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and the invasive LV pressure curves were measured simultaneously. The Kors matrix was used to convert the ECG into a vectorcardiogram (VCG). The acute haemodynamic benefit of MPP was compared with the reduction in QRS duration and VCG-derived QRS area.

Results: Out of the 29 patients, three patients were excluded due to missing LV pressures or ECG measurements. In the remaining 26 patients MPP resulted in a significant haemodynamic improvement compared to BiV pacing without a significant change in QRS duration and QRS area. In only 5 out of the 26 patients the QRS area decreased during MPP compared to BiV pacing. In 17 patients MPP did not change QRS duration and significantly increased QRS area but moved the direction of the maximal QRS vector (azimuth) more opposite from baseline compared to BiV pacing. In 4 patients the QRS area was small during baseline, indicating limited electrical dyssynchrony.

Conclusion: The acute haemodynamic benefit of MPP over BiV pacing is achieved by either electrical resynchronization (reduction in QRS area) or by a rotation of the maximal QRS vector, indicating a more LV dominated activation sequence. The latter property was found in two-thirds of the cohort studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2018.07.011DOI Listing
October 2019

Pressure-Volume Loop Analysis of Multipoint Pacing With a Quadripolar Left Ventricular Lead in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2018 07 28;4(7):881-889. Epub 2018 Mar 28.

Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Objectives: This study aimed to compare multipoint pacing (MPP) to optimal biventricular pacing with a quadripolar left ventricular (LV) lead and find factors associated with hemodynamic response to MPP.

Background: MPP with a quadripolar LV lead may increase response to cardiac resynchronization therapy.

Methods: Heart failure patients with a left bundle branch block underwent cardiac resynchronization therapy implantation. Q to LV sensing interval divided by the intrinsic QRS duration was measured. Invasive pressure-volume loops were assessed during 4 biventricular pacing settings and 3 MPP settings, using 4 atrioventricular delays. Hemodynamic response was defined as change in stroke work (Δ%SW) compared with baseline measurements during intrinsic conduction. Δ%SW of MPP was compared with conventional biventricular pacing using the distal electrode and the electrode with highest Δ%SW (BIV-OPT).

Results: Forty-three patients were analyzed (age 66 ± 10 years, 63% men, 30% ischemic cardiomyopathy, LV ejection fraction 29 ± 8%, and QRS duration 175 ± 13 ms). Q to local LV sensing interval corrected for QRS duration was 84 ± 8%, and variation between LV electrodes was 9 ± 5%. Compared with conventional biventricular pacing using the distal electrode, MPP showed a significant higher increase of SW (Δ%SW +15 ± 35%; p < 0.05) with a large interindividual variation. There was no significant difference in Δ%SW with MPP compared with BIV-OPT (-5 ± 24%; p = 0.19). Male sex and low LV ejection fraction were associated with increase in Δ%SW due to MPP versus BIV-OPT in multivariate analysis, while ischemic cardiomyopathy was only associated in univariate analysis.

Conclusions: Optimization of the pacing site of a quadripolar LV lead is more important than to program MPP. However, specific subgroups (i.e., especially men) may benefit substantially from MPP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2018.02.005DOI Listing
July 2018

Relationship between vectorcardiographic QRS, myocardial scar quantification, and response to cardiac resynchronization therapy.

J Electrocardiol 2018 May - Jun;51(3):457-463. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Purpose: To investigate the relationship between vectorcardiography (VCG) and myocardial scar on cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging, and whether combining these metrics may improve cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) response prediction.

Methods: Thirty-three CRT patients were included. QRS, T and QRST were derived from the ECG-synthesized VCG. CMR parameters reflecting focal scar core (Scar, Gray) and diffuse fibrosis (pre-T1, extracellular volume [ECV]) were assessed. CRT response was defined as ≥15% reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume after six months' follow-up.

Results: VCG QRS, T and QRST inversely correlated with focal scar (R = -0.44--0.58 for Scar, p ≤ 0.010), but not with diffuse fibrosis. Scar, Gray and QRS predicted CRT response with AUCs of 0.692 (p = 0.063), 0.759 (p = 0.012) and 0.737 (p = 0.022) respectively. A combined ROC-derived threshold for Scar and QRS resulted in 92% CRT response rate for patients with large QRS and small Scar or Gray.

Conclusion: QRS is inversely associated with focal scar on CMR. Incremental predictive value for CRT response is achieved by a combined CMR-QRS analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2018.01.009DOI Listing
March 2019

Tailoring device settings in cardiac resynchronization therapy using electrograms from pacing electrodes.

Europace 2018 07;20(7):1146-1153

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Aims: Left ventricular (LV) fusion pacing appears to be at least as beneficial as biventricular pacing in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Optimal LV fusion pacing critically requires adjusting the atrioventricular (AV)-delay to the delay between atrial pacing and intrinsic right ventricular (RV) activation (Ap-RV). We explored the use of electrogram (EGM)-based vectorloop (EGMV) derived from EGMs of implanted pacing leads to achieve optimal LV fusion pacing and to compare it with conventional approaches.

Methods And Results: During CRT-device implantation, 28 patients were prospectively studied. During atrial-LV pacing (Ap-LVp) at various AV-delays, LV dP/dtmax, 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), and unipolar EGMs were recorded. Electrocardiogram and electrogram were used to reconstruct a vectorcardiogram (VCG) and EGMV, respectively, from which the maximum QRS amplitude (QRSampl), was extracted. Ap-RV was determined: (i) conventionally as the longest AV-delay at which QRS morphology was visually unaltered during RV pacing at increasing AV-delays(Ap-RVvis; reference-method); (ii) 70% of delay between atrial pacing and RV sensing (Ap-RVaCRT); and (iii) the delay between atrial pacing and onset of QRS (Ap-QRSonset). In both the EGMV and VCG, the longest AV-delay showing an unaltered QRSampl as compared with Ap-LVp with a short AV-delay, corresponded to Ap-RVvis. In contrast, Ap-QRSonset and Ap-RVaCRT were larger. The Ap-LVp induced increase in LV dP/dtmax was larger at Ap-RVvis, Ap-RVEGMV, and Ap-RVVCG than at Ap-QRSonset (all P < 0.05) and Ap-RVaCRT (P = 0.02, P = 0.13, and P = 0.03, respectively).

Conclusion: In this acute study, it is shown that the EGMV QRSampl can be used to determine optimal and individual CRT-device settings for LV fusion pacing, possibly improving long-term CRT response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eux208DOI Listing
July 2018

Prediction of optimal cardiac resynchronization by vectors extracted from electrograms in dyssynchronous canine hearts.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2017 Aug 27;28(8):944-951. Epub 2017 Jun 27.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Introduction: Proper optimization of atrioventricular (AV) and interventricular (VV) intervals can improve the response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). It has been demonstrated that the area of the QRS complex (QRSarea) extracted from the vectorcardiogram can be used as a predictor of optimal CRT-device settings. We explored the possibility of extracting vectors from the electrograms (EGMs) obtained from pacing electrodes and of using these EGM-based vectors (EGMVs) to individually optimize acute hemodynamic CRT response.

Methods And Results: Biventricular pacing was performed in 13 dogs with left bundle branch block (LBBB) of which five also had myocardial infarction (MI), using 100 randomized AV- and VV-settings. Settings providing an acute increase in LV dP/dt ≥ 90% of the highest achieved value were defined as optimal. The prediction capability of QRSarea derived from the EGMV (EGMV-QRSarea) was compared with that of QRS duration. EGMV-QRSarea strongly correlated to the change in LV dP/dt (R = -0.73 ± 0.19 [LBBB] and -0.66 ± 0.14 [LBBB + MI]), while QRS duration was more poorly related to LV dP/dt changes (R = -0.33 ± 0.25 [LBBB] and -0.47 ± 0.39 [LBBB + MI]). This resulted in a better prediction of optimal CRT-device settings by EGMV-QRSarea than by QRS duration (LBBB: AUC = 0.89 [0.86-0.93] vs. 0.76 [0.69-0.83], P < 0.01; LBBB + MI: AUC = 0.91 [0.84-0.99] vs. 0.82 [0.59-1.00], P = 0.20, respectively).

Conclusion: In canine hearts with chronic LBBB with or without MI, the EGMV-QRSarea predicts acute hemodynamic CRT response and identifies optimal AV and VV settings accurately. These data support the potency of EGM-based vectors as a noninvasive, easy and patient-tailored tool to optimize CRT-device settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.13241DOI Listing
August 2017

Electrical remodelling in patients with iatrogenic left bundle branch block.

Europace 2016 Dec;18(suppl 4):iv44-iv52

Department of Physiology, CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Aims: Left bundle branch block (LBBB) is induced in approximately one-third of all transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) procedures. We investigated electrophysiological remodelling in patients with TAVI-induced LBBB.

Methods And Results: This retrospective study comprises 107 patients with initially narrow QRS complex of whom 40 did not and 67 did develop persistent LBBB after TAVI. 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) taken before TAVI, within 24 hours ('acute'), and 1-12 months after TAVI ('chronic') were used to reconstruct vectorcardiograms. From these vectorcardiograms, QRS and T-wave area were calculated as comprehensive indices of depolarization and repolarization abnormalities, respectively. TAVI-induced LBBB resulted in significant acute depolarization and repolarization changes while further repolarization changes were observed with longer lasting LBBB. The amount of long-term repolarization changes (remodelling) was highly variable between patients. The change in T-wave area between acute and chronic LBBB ranged from +57% to - 77%. After dividing the LBBB cohort into tertiles based on the change in T-wave area, only baseline QRS area was larger in the tertile with no significant change in T-wave area. During longer lasting LBBB, the spatial vector gradient (SVG) changed orientation towards the direction of the QRS-vector, indicating that later-activated regions developed shorter action potential duration.

Conclusion: This study in patients with TAVI-induced LBBB shows that repolarization changes develop within months after onset of LBBB, and that these changes are highly variable between individual patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euw350DOI Listing
December 2016

A novel approach for left ventricular lead placement in cardiac resynchronization therapy: Intraprocedural integration of coronary venous electroanatomic mapping with delayed enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

Heart Rhythm 2017 01 20;14(1):110-119. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Department of Cardiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Background: Placing the left ventricular (LV) lead at a site of late electrical activation remote from scar is desired to improve cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) response.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to integrate coronary venous electroanatomic mapping (EAM) with delayed enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (DE-CMR) enabling LV lead guidance to the latest activated vein remote from scar.

Methods: Eighteen CRT candidates with focal scar on DE-CMR were prospectively included. DE-CMR images were semi-automatically analyzed. Coronary venous EAM was performed intraprocedurally and integrated with DE-CMR to guide LV lead placement in real time. Image integration accuracy and electrogram parameters were evaluated offline.

Results: Integration of EAM and DE-CMR was achieved using 8.9 ± 2.8 anatomic landmarks and with accuracy of 4.7 ± 1.1 mm (mean ± SD). Maximal electrical delay ranged between 72 and 197ms (57%-113% of QRS duration) and was heterogeneously located among individuals. In 12 patients, the latest activated vein was located outside scar, and placing the LV lead in the latest activated vein remote from scar was accomplished in 10 patients and prohibited in 2 patients. In the other 6 patients, the latest activated vein was located in scar, and targeting alternative veins was considered. Unipolar voltages were on average lower in scar compared to nonscar (6.71 ± 3.45 mV vs 8.18 ± 4.02 mV [median ± interquartile range), P <.001) but correlated weakly with DE-CMR scar extent (R -0.161, P <.001) and varied widely among individual patients.

Conclusion: Integration of coronary venous EAM with DE-CMR can be used during CRT implantation to guide LV lead placement to the latest activated vein remote from scar, possibly improving CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2016.09.015DOI Listing
January 2017

Why QRS Duration Should Be Replaced by Better Measures of Electrical Activation to Improve Patient Selection for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy.

J Cardiovasc Transl Res 2016 08 26;9(4):257-65. Epub 2016 May 26.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a well-known treatment modality for patients with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction accompanied by a ventricular conduction delay. However, a large proportion of patients does not benefit from this therapy. Better patient selection may importantly reduce the number of non-responders. Here, we review the strengths and weaknesses of the electrocardiogram (ECG) markers currently being used in guidelines for patient selection, e.g., QRS duration and morphology. We shed light on the current knowledge on the underlying electrical substrate and the mechanism of action of CRT. Finally, we discuss potentially better ECG-based biomarkers for CRT candidate selection, of which the vectorcardiogram may have high potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12265-016-9693-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4990608PMC
August 2016

T-wave area as biomarker of clinical response to cardiac resynchronization therapy.

Europace 2016 Jul 12;18(7):1077-85. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200MD Maastricht, The Netherlands

Aims: There is increasing evidence that left bundle branch block (LBBB) morphology on the electrocardiogram is a positive predictor for response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). We previously demonstrated that the vectorcardiography (VCG)-derived T-wave area predicts echocardiographic CRT response in LBBB patients. In the present study, we investigate whether the T-wave area also predicts long-term clinical outcome to CRT.

Methods And Results: This is a retrospective study consisting of 335 CRT recipients. Primary endpoint were the composite of heart failure (HF) hospitalization, heart transplantation, left ventricular assist device implantation or death during a 3-year follow-up period. HF hospitalization and death alone were secondary endpoints. The patient subgroup with a large T-wave area and LBBB 36% reached the primary endpoint, which was considerably less (P < 0.01) than for patients with LBBB and a small T-wave area or non-LBBB patients with a small or large T-wave area (48, 57, and 51%, respectively). Similar differences were observed for the secondary endpoints, HF hospitalization (31 vs. 51, 51, and 38%, respectively, P < 0.01) and death (19 vs. 42, 34, and 42%, respectively, P < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, a large T-wave area and LBBB were the only independent predictors of the combined endpoint besides high creatinine levels and use of diuretics.

Conclusion: T-wave area may be useful as an additional biomarker to stratify CRT candidates and improve selection of those most likely to benefit from CRT. A large T-wave area may derive its predictive value from reflecting good intrinsic myocardial properties and a substrate for CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euv259DOI Listing
July 2016

Vectorcardiographic QRS area identifies delayed left ventricular lateral wall activation determined by electroanatomic mapping in candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy.

Heart Rhythm 2016 Jan 29;13(1):217-25. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Department of Cardiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands,. Electronic address:

Background: Delayed left ventricular (LV) lateral wall (LVLW) activation is considered the electrical substrate underlying LV dysfunction amenable to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess LVLW activation in CRT candidates using coronary venous electroanatomic mapping (EAM) and to investigate whether the QRS area (QRSAREA) on the vectorcardiogram (VCG) can identify delayed LVLW activation.

Methods: Fifty-one consecutive CRT candidates (29 left bundle branch block [LBBB], 15 intraventricular conduction delay [IVCD], 7 right bundle branch block [RBBB]) underwent intraprocedural coronary venous EAM using EnSite NavX. VCGs were constructed from preprocedural digital 12-lead ECGs using the Kors method. QRSAREA was assessed and compared to QRS duration and 5 different LBBB definitions.

Results: Delayed LVLW activation (activation time >75% of QRS duration) occurred in 38 of 51 patients (29/29 LBBB, 8/15 IVCD, 1/7 RBBB). QRSAREA was larger in patients with than in patients without delayed LVLW activation (108 ± 42 µVs vs 51 ± 27 µVs, P < .001), and identified delayed LVLW activation better than QRS duration (area under the curve 0.89 [95% confidence interval 0.79-0.99] vs 0.49 [95% confidence interval 0.33-0.65]). QRSAREA >69 µVs diagnosed delayed LVLW activation with a higher sum of sensitivity (87%) and specificity (92%) than any of the LBBB definitions. Of the different LBBB definitions, the European Society of Cardiology textbook definition performed best with sensitivity of 76% and specificity of 100%.

Conclusion: Coronary venous EAM can be used during CRT implantation to determine the presence of delayed LVLW activation. QRSAREA is a noninvasive alternative for intracardiac measurements of electrical activation, which identifies delayed LVLW activation better than QRS duration and LBBB morphology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2015.07.033DOI Listing
January 2016

The synthesized vectorcardiogram resembles the measured vectorcardiogram in patients with dyssynchronous heart failure.

J Electrocardiol 2015 Jul-Aug;48(4):586-92. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: The use of vectorcardiography (VCG) has regained interest, however, original Frank-VCG equipment is rare. This study compares the measured VCGs with those synthesized from the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) in patients with heart failure and conduction abnormalities, who are candidate for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Methods: In 92 CRT candidates, Frank-VCG and 12-lead ECG were recorded before CRT implantation. The ECG was converted to a VCG using the Kors method (Kors-VCG) and the two methods were compared using correlation and Bland-Altman analyses.

Results: Variables calculated from the Frank- and Kors-VCG showed correlation coefficients between 0.77 and 0.90. There was a significant but small underestimation by the Kors-VCG method, relative bias ranging from -1.9% ± 4.6% (QRS-T angle) to -9.4% ± 20.8% (T area).

Conclusion: The present study shows that it is justified to use Kors-VCG calculations for VCG analysis, which enables retrospective VCG analysis of previously recorded ECGs in studies related to CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2015.04.001DOI Listing
March 2016

T-wave area predicts response to cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with left bundle branch block.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2015 Feb 20;26(2):176-83. Epub 2014 Oct 20.

Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Introduction: Chronic heart failure patients with a left ventricular (LV) conduction delay, mostly due to left bundle branch block (LBBB), generally derive benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). However, 30-50% of patients do not show a clear response to CRT. We investigated whether T-wave analysis of the ECG can improve patient selection.

Methods And Results: The study population comprised 244 CRT recipients with baseline 12-lead electrocardiogram recordings. Echocardiographic response after 6-month CRT was defined as a ≥5% increase in LV ejection fraction (LVEF). Vectorcardiograms (VCGs) were constructed from the measured 12-lead ECGs using an adapted Kors algorithm on digitized ECGs. Logistic regression models indicated repolarization variables as good predictors of CRT response. The VCG-derived T-wave area predicted CRT response (odds ratio [OR] per 10 μVs increase 1.172 [P < 0.001]) even better than QRS-wave area (OR = 1.116 [P = 0.001]). T-wave area had especially predictive value in the LBBB patient group (OR = 2.77 in LBBB vs. 1.09 in non-LBBB). This predictive value persisted after adjustment of multiple covariates, such as gender, ischemia, age, hypertension, coronary artery bypass graft, and the usage of diuretics and β-blockers. In LBBB patients, the increase in LVEF was 6.1 ± 9.7% and 11.3 ± 9.1% in patients with T-wave area below and above the median value, respectively (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: In patients with LBBB morphology of the QRS complex, a larger baseline T-wave area is an important independent predictor of LVEF increase following CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.12549DOI Listing
February 2015

Assessment of the sensitivity of detecting drug-induced QTc changes using subject-specific rate correction.

J Electrocardiol 2012 Nov-Dec;45(6):541-5. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Centre de Recherche, Montréal, QC, Canada.

Aims: To quantify the sensitivity of QT heart-rate correction methods for detecting drug-induced QTc changes in thorough QT studies.

Methods: Twenty-four-hour Holter ECGs were analyzed in 66 normal subjects during placebo and moxifloxacin delivery (single oral dose). QT and RR time series were extracted. Three QTc computation methods were used: (1) Fridericia's formula, (2) Fridericia's formula with hysteresis reduction, and (3) a subject-specific approach with transfer function-based hysteresis reduction and three-parameter non-linear fitting of the QT-RR relation. QTc distributions after placebo and moxifloxacin delivery were compared in sliding time windows using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) served as a measure to quantify the ability of each method to detect moxifloxacin-induced QTc prolongation.

Results: Moxifloxacin prolonged the QTc by 10.6 ± 6.6 ms at peak effect. The AUC was significantly larger after hysteresis reduction (0.87 ± 0.13 vs. 0.82 ± 0.12, p<0.01) at peak effect, indicating a better discriminating capability. Subject-specific correction further increased the AUC to 0.91 ± 0.11 (p<0.01 vs. Fridericia with hysteresis reduction). The performance of the subject-specific approach was the consequence of a substantially lower intra-subject QTc standard deviation (5.7 ± 1.1 ms vs. 8.8 ± 1.2 ms for Fridericia).

Conclusion: The ROC curve provides a tool for quantitative comparison of QT heart rate correction methods in the context of detecting drug-induced QTc prolongation. Results support a broader use of subject-specific QT correction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2012.07.004DOI Listing
May 2013