Pathophysiology of dyssynchrony: of squirrels and broken bones

R. F. Wiegerinck, R. Schreurs, F. W. Prinzen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The genesis of cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) consists of 'bedside' research and 'bench' studies that are performed in series with each other. In this field, the bench studies are crucial for understanding the pathophysiology of dyssynchrony and resynchronisation. In a way, CRT started with the insight that abnormal ventricular conduction, as caused by right ventricular pacing, has adverse effects. Out of this research came the ground-breaking insight that 'simple' disturbances in impulse conduction, which were initially considered innocent, proved to result in a host of molecular and cellular derangements that lead to a vicious circle of remodelling processes that facilitate the development of heart failure. As a consequence, CRT does not only correct conduction abnormalities, but also improves myocardial properties at many levels. Interestingly, corrections by CRT do not exactly reverse the derangements, induced by dyssynchrony, but also activate novel pathways, a property that may open new avenues for the treatment of heart failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-10
JournalNetherlands Heart Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Heart failure
  • Cardiac resynchronisation therapy
  • Ventricular pacing
  • Dyssynchrony
  • Protection
  • Remodelling


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