BACKGROUND: Better clinical tools for measuring left ventricular electrical dyssynchrony are needed. The present study investigates if onset of active myocardial force generation (AFG) may serve as a measure of electrical dyssynchrony. METHODS AND RESULTS: In anesthetized dogs, we evaluated left ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony by 2 different approaches. First, we measured timing of peak myocardial shortening velocity and strain. Second, we measured the first sign of tension development by onset AFG as defined by the myocardial pressure-segment length loop upward shift from its passive-elastic state. Electrical dyssynchrony was measured by intramyocardial electromyograms (IM-EMG). Dyssynchrony was quantified as peak intersegment time difference and as standard deviation of timing for 6 to 8 myocardial segments. During baseline, reduced preload and myocardial ischemia shortening velocity and strain indicated segmental mechanical heterogeneity, whereas onset AFG and onset R in IM-EMG indicated synchronous activation of all segments. After induction of left bundle-branch block, all methods indicated dyssynchrony. Peak intersegment time difference for shortening velocity and strain showed weak correlations (r=0.17 and 0.16) and weak agreements (mean differences, -48+/-27 ms and -28+/-27 ms, respectively) with IM-EMG. Onset AFG by pressure-segment length loops, however, correlated well with IM-EMG (r=0.93), and agreement was good (mean difference, -0.6+/-6.8 ms). Results were similar for standard deviation of timing. Onset AFG from pressure-strain analysis by echocardiography showed accuracy similar to sonomicrometry. CONCLUSIONS: Onset AFG was an accurate marker of myocardial electrical activation and was superior to shortening velocity and strain. Identification of electrical dyssynchrony by onset AFG may be feasible clinically using left ventricular pressure-strain analysis.
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