Use of GATED-SPECT for Ventricular Desynchronization Evaluation in Patients with Heart Failure Submitted to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

Abstract Background: Approximately 20 to 40% of patients with heart failure do not respond to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). To improve patient selection, phase analysis by myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (GSPECT) was developed. Objectives: To evaluate the clinical and scintigraphic response of patients with heart failure (HF) submitted to CRT using GSPECT. Method: This was an interventional study that included consecutive patients assessed by GSPECT four weeks prior to CRT implantation and six months after it for comparison. These patients also answered the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ). The categorical variables were compared using Fisher's exact test and chi-square test, whereas Student's t-test was used for numerical variables. The level of statistical significance was set at 5%. The scintigraphic variables analyzed were left ventricular ejection fraction, end-systolic volume, end-diastolic volume, left ventricular mass, standard deviation and bandwidth, as well as QRS duration and the Minnesota Quality of Life Questionnaire score. The presence of mechanical dyssynchrony was defined as standard deviation > 43º. Results: Nine patients were included in the study. After the cardiac resynchronization therapy, there was a significant improvement (p < 0.05) in the end-systolic volume (206 ± 80 mL vs. 158 ± 108 mL), QRS (180 ± 18 ms vs. 120 ± 9 ms), left ventricular mass (248 ± 65 g vs. 193 ± 52 g) and Minnesota Quality of Life Questionnaire score (63 ± 16 vs. 34 ± 20). All patients with scintigraphic criteria of mechanical dyssynchrony showed clinical improvement. Two patients had only electrical dyssynchrony and did not achieve significant clinical improvement, although they showed QRS duration reduction. Conclusion: GSPECT was able to differentiate patients with isolated electrical dyssynchrony from those with associated mechanical dyssynchrony, through the intraventricular dyssynchrony parameters. The cardiac resynchronization therapy is associated with the improvement of both mechanical and electrical dyssynchrony. Pre-implantation GSPECT showed that patients with associated electrical and mechanical dyssynchrony had a better response to cardiac resynchronization therapy than those with isolated electrical dyssynchrony.