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Detection and Quantification by Deformation Imaging of the Functional Impact of Septal Compared to Free Wall Preexcitation in the Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

      Pacing experiments in healthy animal hearts have suggested a larger detrimental effect of septal compared to free wall preexcitation. We investigated the intrinsic relation among the site of electrical preexcitation, mechanical dyssynchrony, and dysfunction in human patients. In 33 patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and 18 controls, regional myocardial deformation was assessed by speckle tracking mapping (ST-Map) to assess the preexcitation site, shortening sequences and dyssynchrony, and the extent of local and global ejecting shortening. The ST-Map data in patients with accessory atrioventricular pathways correctly diagnosed as located in the interventricular septum (IVS) (n = 11) or left ventricular free wall (LFW) (n = 12) were compared to the corresponding control values. A local ejecting shortening of <2 SD of the control values identified hypokinetic segments. The localization of the atrioventricular pathways by ST-Map matched with the invasive electrophysiology findings in 23 of 33 patients and was one segment different in 5 of 33 patients. In both WPW-IVS and WPW-LFW, local ejecting shortening was impaired at the preexcitation site (p <0.01). However, at similar electrical and mechanical dyssynchrony, WPW-IVS had more extensive hypokinesia than did WPW-LFW (3.6 ± 0.9 vs 1.8 ± 1.3 segments, p <0.01). Compared to controls, the left ventricular function was significantly reduced only in WPW-IVS (global ejecting shortening 17 ± 2% vs 19 ± 2%, p = 0.01; ejection fraction 55 ± 5% vs 59 ± 3%, p = 0.02). In conclusion, preexcitation is associated with local hypokinesia, which at comparable preexcitation is more extensive in WPW-IVS than in WPW-LFW and could adversely affect ventricular function. ST-Map might have a future role in detecting and guiding treatment of septal pathways with significant mechanical effects.
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