Background: Estimating contractility of the left ventricle with noninvasive techniques is an important yet elusive goal. Positive inotropic interventions are mirrored by smaller end-systolic volumes and higher end-systolic pressures. An increased heart rate progressively increases the force of ventricular contraction (Bowditch treppe or staircase phenomenon). Aim: To assess the feasibility of a noninvasive estimation of force-frequency relation (FFR) during pacing stress in the echo lab in patients with permanent pacemaker (PM). Methods: Transthoracic stress pacing echocardiography was performed in 26 patients with a permanent pacemaker (age 69±11 years; 21 men, 5 women). Seven patients had normal function at baseline and during stress ("normals"); eight had angiographically assessed coronary artery disease (three with and five without induced ischemia with stress echo); eleven patients had dilated cardiomyopathy (DC). To build the FFR, the force was determined at different steps as the ratio of the systolic pressure (SP, cuff sphygmomanometer)/end-systolic volume index (ESV, biplane Simpson rule/body surface area). Heart rate was determined from ECG. Results: The absolute value of the FFR slope was highest in controls and lowest in DC patients. A flat-downsloping FFR was found in 12/19 patients but not for normals (p<0.01). Conclusions: Noninvasive pacemaker stress echocardiography (PASE) is a simple and efficient option to assess left ventricular (LV) contractility in patients with permanent pacemaker.
- Bowditch treppe
- Force-frequency relationship
- Heart failure
- Pacemaker stress echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine