Imaging of myocardial dyssynchrony in congestive heart failure

Boaz D. Rosen, Albert C. Lardo, Ronald D. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heart failure constitutes a major health problem in USA and Europe. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and - blockers were shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with CHF. Yet, their effectiveness is limited. A significant number of patients with heart failure manifest myocardial conduction abnormalities. Conduction abnormalities, especially in the form of left bundle branch block (LBBB) may be associated with abnormal mechanical function. Several studies demonstrated that these patients may gain benefit from biventricular (BiV) pacing in terms of improvement in exercise tolerance, heart failure morbidity and even decreased mortality. BiV pacing was also associated with improvement in ejection fraction, reduction in the extent of mitral regurgitation and a decrease in cardiac size (reverse remodeling). However, a significant number of patients do not gain benefit from biventricular pacing despite having conduction abnormalities. The underlying reason is that the electrical activity may not closely reflect mechanical activity. Several imaging modalities and techniques have been proposed to improve the selection of patients who may benefit from biventricular pacemakers. Of those, echo-Doppler, and especially, Tissue Doppler Imaging has been demonstrated as important tools for evaluating patients for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) and following their response. The advantages of echo include accessibility, portability, its cost and a high temporal resolution. Yet, it is limited by its acoustic windows and scanning angles. MRI is a useful tool for evaluating patients for CRT by providing 3-D image of myocardial function. However, it is limited for follow-up after implantation due to its cost and a potential damage to the patients or pacemakers. Dyssnchrony imaging is a rapidly evolving field. New imaging techniques such as speckle tracking are promising and close update is needed to keep track of the developments and the changes in this exciting field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-303
Number of pages15
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Biventricular (BiV) pacing
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)
  • Conduction abnormalities
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Myocardial dyssnchrony
  • Strain
  • Strain rate
  • Tissue doppler imaging (TDI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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