BACKGROUND: Left bundle branch area pacing (LBBAP) has recently been introduced as a physiological pacing technique with synchronous left ventricular activation. It was our aim to evaluate the feasibility and learning curve of the technique, as well as the electrical characteristics of LBBAP.
METHODS AND RESULTS: LBBAP was attempted in 80 consecutive patients and electrocardiographic characteristics were evaluated during intrinsic rhythm, right ventricular septum pacing (RVSP) and LBBAP. Permanent lead implantation was successful in 77 of 80 patients (96%). LBBAP lead implantation time and fluoroscopy time shortened significantly from 33 ± 16 and 21 ± 13 min to 17 ± 5 and 12 ± 7 min, respectively, from the first 20 to the last 20 patients. Left bundle branch (LBB) capture was achieved in 54 of 80 patients (68%). In 36 of 45 patients (80%) with intact atrioventricular conduction and narrow QRS, an LBB potential (LBBpot) was present with an LBBpot to onset of QRS interval of 22 ± 6 ms. QRS duration increased significantly more during RVSP (141 ± 20 ms) than during LBBAP (125 ± 19 ms), compared to 130 ± 30 ms without pacing. An even clearer difference was observed for QRS area, which increased significantly more during RVSP (from 32 ± 16 µVs to 73 ± 20 µVs) than during LBBAP (41 ± 15 µVs). QRS area was significantly smaller in patients with LBB capture compared to patients without LBB capture (43 ± 18 µVs vs 54 ± 21 µVs, respectively). In patients with LBB capture (n = 54), the interval from the pacing stimulus to R‑wave peak time in lead V6 was significantly shorter than in patients without LBB capture (75 ± 14 vs 88 ± 9 ms, respectively).
CONCLUSION: LBBAP is a safe and feasible technique, with a clear learning curve that seems to flatten after 40-60 implantations. LBB capture is achieved in two-thirds of patients. Compared to RVSP, LBBAP largely maintains ventricular electrical synchrony at a level close to intrinsic (narrow QRS) rhythm.
- Bradycardia pacing
- Cardiac resynchronisation therapy
- Left bundle branch pacing