Background Trials using echocardiographic mechanical dyssynchrony (MD) parameters in narrow QRS patients have shown a negative response to CRT. We hypothesized MD in these patients may relate to myocardial scar rather than electrical dyssynchrony. Methods We determined the prevalence of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) derived measures of MD in 130 systolic heart failure patients with both broad (≥ 130 ms - BQRS) and narrow QRS duration (< 130 ms - NQRS). We assessed whether late gadolinium enhancement derived scar might explain the presence of MD amongst narrow QRS patients. Dyssynchrony was calculated on the basis of a systolic dyssynchrony index (SDI). Results Fifty-nine patients (45%) had a NQRS and the remaining had QRS ≥ 130 ms (BQRS group). 25% of NQRS patients had MD based on SDI. In all narrow and broad QRS patients with MD there was a significantly lower scar volume than those without MD (7.4 ± 10.5% vs 13.7 ± 13.3% vs. p < 0.01). This was the case in the BQRS group with a significantly lower scar burden in patients with MD (5.0 ± 7.7% vs 15.4 ± 15.6%, p < 0.01). Notably in the NQRS group this difference was absent with an equal scar burden in patients with MD 13.3 ± 13.9% and without MD 12.5 ± 11%, p = 0.92. Conclusions 25% of patients with systolic heart failure and a NQRS (< 130 ms) have CMR derived mechanical dyssynchrony. Our findings suggest MD in this group may be secondary to myocardial scar rather than electrical dyssynchrony and therefore not amenable to correction by CRT. This may give insight into non-response and potential harm from CRT in this group.
- Narrow QRS
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging