Left Ventricular Dyssynchrony in Patients with Normal Ventricular Systolic Function Referred for Exercise Echocardiography

Alain M. Bernheim, Yoshie Nakajima, Patricia A. Pellikka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Exercise testing is often normal despite the presence of exertional symptoms. We hypothesized that left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony might occur in some patients in the absence of ischemia, LV dysfunction, or wide QRS, and might contribute to exertional symptoms and diminished exercise capacity. Methods: Echocardiographic parameters were assessed before and with exercise in 40 patients (age 62 ± 8 years, 27 with exertional symptoms). All had normal clinically indicated exercise echocardiograms and narrow QRS. The time to peak systolic velocity (Ts) was measured in 12 segments to calculate the standard deviation (Ts-SD) and the maximal difference (Ts-diff). Results: At rest, 25 patients (63%) had dyssynchrony by Ts-SD. With exercise, mean Ts-SD did not increase significantly (34.9 ± 19.3 ms vs 39.5 ± 27.2 ms, P = .28). However, Ts-SD increased by greater than 40% in 15 patients (37.5%), remained stable in 19 patients (47.5%), and decreased by greater than 40% in 6 patients (15%). Similar responses were observed for Ts-diff. Patients with exercise-induced dyssynchrony were not more likely to have symptoms. Exercise capacity was inversely correlated with resting Ts-SD (r = -0.37, P = .02) and resting Ts-diff (r = -0.38, P = .02), but not with exercise-induced changes in dyssynchrony. Patients with resting dyssynchrony had higher resting heart rate (73 ± 12 vs 63 ± 11 beats/min, P = .02). Conclusion: LV dyssynchrony may occur more frequently than previously thought and may develop with exercise in the absence of ischemia. Exercise-induced LV dyssynchrony was not related to exertional symptoms or exercise capacity. Patients with dyssynchrony at rest had a higher resting heart rate and achieved a lower workload; this may indicate early myocardial impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1149
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Doppler
  • Echocardiography
  • Exercise testing
  • Tissue Doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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