Biventricular pacing can help the performance of the heartâ€™s right ventricle as well as that of the left ventricle, the American College of Cardiology 2013 scientific sessions have been told.
In biventricular pacing (sometimes called cardiac resynchronisation therapy or CRT), pacemaker leads are placed in the heartâ€™s right atrium, right ventricle and left ventricle. In some patients with heart failure it helps the heart beat more in unison (synchrony), and so improves symptoms.
Researchers said that right ventricular function is not considered much when biventricular pacing is discussed. But just as it contributes to how well the heart works as a whole, it also seems to benefit the right ventricle.
Dr Girish Dwivedi, from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Canada, said the observational study showed that patients who had biventricular pacing had improvements in both left and right ventricular function.
There was improved synchrony in how the heart worked and reduced mitral regurgitation (backward flow of blood through the heartâ€™s mitral valve).
Dr Dwivediâ€™s team looked at 76 patients who received CRT. They were compared with 76 patients who had defibrillator-only devices and were matched for age, sex, left ventricular function, and causes of heart-failure causes.
Only the CRT patients showed improvements in measures of right venticle function.
Dr Dwivedi said part of the overall heart function gains in CRT might well be attributed to improved right ventricular function, which should be considered in future CRT trials.
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