Background: Cardiomyoplasty (CM) is a novel surgical therapy for dilated cardiomyopathy. In this procedure, the latissimus dorsi muscle is wrapped around the heart and chronically paced synchronously with ventricular systole. While studies have found symptomatic improvement from this therapy, the mechanisms by which CM confers benefit remain uncertain. This study sought to better define these mechanisms by means of serial pressure-volume relation analysis. Methods and Results: Serial pressure-volume studies were performed by the conductance catheter method in three patients (total to date) with dilated cardiomyopathy (New York Heart Association class III) who underwent CM. Data were measured at baseline (before surgery) and at 6 and 12 months after CM. Chronic left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic changes induced by CM were evaluated with the stimulator in its stable pacing mode (every other beat) and after temporarily suspending pacing. CM-stimulated beats were compared with pacing-off beats to evaluate active systolic assist effects of CM. In each patient, CM resulted in a chronic lowering of cardiac end-diastolic volume and an increased ejection fraction. Most notably, the end-systolic pressure-volume relation shifted leftward, consistent with reversal of chronic chamber remodeling. In contrast, the diastolic pressure- volume relation was minimally altered, and the loops shifted down along the same baseline relation. These marked chronic changes in LV function measurable with CM stimulation off contrasted to only minor acute effects observed when the muscle wrap was activated. This suggests that the benefit of CM derived less from active systolic assist than from remodeling, perhaps because of an external elastic constraint. Conclusions: These data, while limited to a small number of patients, suggest that CM can reverse remodeling of the dilated failing heart. While systolic squeezing assist effects of CM may play a role in some patients, our study found that this was not required to achieve substantial benefits from the procedure. We speculate that CM may act more passively, like an elastic girdle around the heart, to help reverse chamber remodeling.
- heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)