Imaging the Propagation of the Electromechanical Wave in Heart Failure Patients with Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

Ethan Bunting, Litsa Lambrakos, Paul Kemper, William Whang, Hasan Garan, Elisa Konofagou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Current electrocardiographic and echocardiographic measurements in heart failure (HF) do not take into account the complex interplay between electrical activation and local wall motion. The utilization of novel technologies to better characterize cardiac electromechanical behavior may lead to improved response rates with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Electromechanical wave imaging (EWI) is a noninvasive ultrasound-based technique that uses the transient deformations of the myocardium to track the intrinsic EW that precedes myocardial contraction. In this paper, we investigate the performance and reproducibility of EWI in the assessment of HF patients and CRT. Methods: EWI acquisitions were obtained in five healthy controls and 16 HF patients with and without CRT pacing. Responders (n = 8) and nonresponders (n = 8) to CRT were identified retrospectively on the basis of left ventricular (LV) reverse remodeling. Electromechanical activation maps were obtained in all patients and used to compute a quantitative parameter describing the mean LV lateral wall activation time (LWAT). Results: Mean LWAT was increased by 52.1 ms in HF patients in native rhythm compared to controls (P < 0.01). For all HF patients, CRT pacing initiated a different electromechanical activation sequence. Responders exhibited a 56.4-ms ± 28.9-ms reduction in LWAT with CRT pacing (P < 0.01), while nonresponders showed no significant change. Conclusion: In this initial feasibility study, EWI was capable of characterizing local cardiac electromechanical behavior as it pertains to HF and CRT response. Activation sequences obtained with EWI allow for quantification of LV lateral wall electromechanical activation, thus providing a novel method for CRT assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • electromechanical
  • heart failure
  • strain
  • ultrasound


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