Mechano-energetics of the asynchronous and resynchronized heart

Frits W. Prinzen*, Kevin Vernooy, Bart W. L. DeBoeck, Tammo Delhaas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Abnormal electrical activation of the ventricles creates major abnormalities in cardiac mechanics. Local contraction patterns, as reflected by measurements of local strain, are not only out of phase, but often also show opposing length changes in early and late activated regions. As a consequence, the efficiency of cardiac pump function (the amount of stroke work generated by a unit of oxygen consumed) is approximately 30% lower in asynchronous than in synchronous hearts. Moreover, the amount of work performed in myocardial segments becomes considerably larger in late than in early activated regions. Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) improves mechano-energetics of the previously asynchronous heart in various ways: it alleviates impediment of the abnormal contraction on blood flow, it increases myocardial efficiency, it recruits contraction in the previously early activated septum and it creates a more uniform distribution of myocardial blood flow. These factors act together to increase the range of cardiac work that can be delivered by the patients' heart, an effect that can explain the increased exercise tolerance and quality of life reported in several CRT trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • Cardiac mechanics
  • Strain
  • Blood flow

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