Factors determining the magnitude of the pre-ejection leftward septal motion in left bundle branch block
Aims An abnormal large leftward septal motion prior to ejection is frequently observed in left bundle branch block (LBBB) patients. This motion has been proposed as a predictor of response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Our goal was to investigate factors that influence its magnitude. Methods and results Left (LVP) and right ventricular (RVP) pressures and left ventricular (LV) volume were measured in eight canines. After induction of LBBB, LVP and, hence, the transmural septal pressure ( P LV–RV = LVP– LVP–RVP) increased more slowly ( P < 0.01) during the phase when septum moved leftwards. A biventricular finite-element LBBB simulation model confirmed that the magnitude of septal leftward motion depended on reduced rise of P LV–RV . The model showed that leftward septal motion was decreased with shorter activation delay, reduced global or right ventricular (RV) contractility, septal infarction, or when the septum was already displaced into the LV at end diastole by RV volume overload. Both experiments and simulations showed that pre-ejection septal hypercontraction occurs, in part, because the septum performs more of the work pushing blood towards the mitral valve leaflets to close them as the normal lateral wall contribution to this push is lost. Conclusions Left bundle branch block lowers afterload against pre-ejection septal contraction, expressed as slowed rise of P LV–RV , which is a main cause and determinant of the magnitude of leftward septal motion. The motion may be small or absent due to septal infarct, impaired global or RV contractility or RV volume overload, which should be kept in mind if this motion is to be used in evaluation of CRT response.
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