Left ventricular (LV) pacing alone may theoretically avoid deleterious effects of right ventricular pacing.
In a multicenter, double-blind, crossover trial, we compared the effects of LV and biventricular (BiV) pacing on exercise tolerance and LV remodeling in patients with an LV ejection fraction =35%, QRS =120 milliseconds, and symptoms of heart failure. A total of 211 patients were recruited from 11 centers. After a run-in period of 2 to 8 weeks, 121 qualifying patients were randomized to LV followed by BiV pacing or vice versa for consecutive 6-month periods. The greatest improvement in New York Heart Association class and 6-minute walk test occurred during the run-in phase before randomization. Exercise duration at 75% of peak Vo(2) (primary outcome) increased from 9.3±6.4 to 14.0±11.9 and 14.3±12.5 minutes with LV and BiV pacing, respectively, with no difference between groups (P=0.4327). LV ejection fraction improved from 24.4±6.3% to 31.9±10.8% and 30.9±9.8% with LV and BiV pacing, respectively, with no difference between groups (P=0.4530). Reductions in LV end-systolic volume were likewise similar (P=0.6788). The proportion of clinical responders (=20% increase in exercise duration) to LV and BiV pacing was 48.0% and 55.1% (P=0.1615). Positive remodeling responses (=15% reduction in LV end-systolic volume) were observed in 46.7% and 55.4% (P=0.0881). Overall, 30.6% of LV nonresponders improved with BiV and 17.1% of BiV nonresponders improved with LV pacing.
LV pacing is not superior to BiV pacing. However, nonresponders to BiV pacing may respond favorably to LV pacing, suggesting a potential role as tiered therapy.