OBJECTIVES: The relation between the occurrence of pacing-induced mechanical alternans and prognosis in patients with mild-to-moderate idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) in sinus rhythm was investigated prospectively. The myocardial expression of genes for Ca2+-handling proteins in such patients was also examined. BACKGROUND: Mechanical alternans occurs in some patients with severe heart failure, but the relation between the occurrence of mechanical alternans and prognosis in patients with IDCM has remained unknown. METHODS: Left ventricular (LV) pressure was measured during atrial pacing, and LV endomyocardial biopsy specimens were collected in 36 IDCM patients and 8 controls. Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy patients were divided into two groups consisting of 22 individuals who did not develop mechanical alternans at heart rates up to 140 beats/min (group A) and of 14 individuals who did (group B). The patients were followed up for a mean of 3.7 years. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in LV ejection fraction or the plasma concentration of brain natriuretic peptide between groups A and B. The myocardial abundance of ryanodine receptor 2 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) was significantly lower in groups A and B than in controls, whereas that of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase mRNA was significantly lower in group B than in group A or controls. Stepwise multivariate analysis identified pacing-induced mechanical alternans as the strongest predictor of cardiac events. Event-free survival in group A was significantly greater than that in group B. CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of pacing-induced mechanical alternans is a potentially useful indicator of poor prognosis in patients with mild-to-moderate IDCM in sinus rhythm.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine