BACKGROUND: In patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds), intracardiac impedance measured by dedicated CRT-D software may be used to monitor hemodynamic changes. We investigated the relationship of hemodynamic parameters assessed by intracardiac impedance and by echocardiography in a controlled clinical setting.
METHODS: The study enrolled 68 patients (mean age, 66 ± 9 years; 74% males) at 12 investigational sites. The patients had an indication for CRT-D implantation, New York Heart Association class II/III symptoms, left ventricular ejection fraction 15%-35%, and a QRS duration ≥150 ms. Two months after a CRT-D implantation, hemodynamic changes were provoked by overdrive pacing. Intracardiac impedance was recorded at rest and at four pacing rates ranging from 10 to 40 beats/min above the resting rate. In parallel, echocardiography measurements were performed. We hypothesized that a mean intra-individual correlation coefficient (rmean) between stroke impedance (difference between end-systolic and end-diastolic intracardiac impedance) measured by CRT-D and the aortic velocity time integral (i.e., stroke volume) determined by echocardiography would be significantly larger than 0.65.
RESULTS: The hypothesis was evaluated in 40 patients with complete data sets. The rmean was 0.797, with a lower confidence interval bound of 0.709. The study hypothesis was met (p = 0.007). A stepwise reduction of stroke impedance and stroke volume was observed with increasing heart rate.
CONCLUSIONS: Intracardiac impedance measured by implanted CRT-Ds correlated well with the aortic velocity time integral (stroke volume) determined by echocardiography. The impedance measurements bear potential and are readily available technically, not requiring implantation of additional material beyond standard CRT-D system.