Up to one-third of patients undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) are nonresponders. Multipoint bicathodic and cathodic-anodal left ventricle (LV) stimulations could overcome this clinical challenge, but their effectiveness remains controversial. Here we evaluate the performance of such stimulations through both in vivo and in silico experiments, the latter based on computer electromechanical modeling. Seven patients, all candidates for CRT, received a quadripolar LV lead. Four stimulations were tested: right ventricular (RVS); conventional single point biventricular (S-BS); multipoint biventricular bicathodic (CC-BS) and multipoint biventricular cathodic-anodal (CA-BS). The following parameters were processed: QRS duration; maximal time derivative of arterial pressure (dPdt); systolic arterial pressure (P); and stroke volume (SV). Echocardiographic data of each patient were then obtained to create an LV geometric model. Numerical simulations were based on a strongly coupled Bidomain electromechanical coupling model. Considering the in vivo parameters, when comparing S-BS to RVS, there was no significant decrease in SV (from 45 ± 11 to 44 ± 20 ml) and 6% and 4% increases of dPdt and P, respectively. Focusing on in silico parameters, with respect to RVS, S-BS exhibited a significant increase of SV, dPdt and P. Neither the in vivo nor in silico results showed any significant hemodynamic and electrical difference among S-BS, CC-BS and CA-BS configurations. These results show that CC-BS and CA-BS yield a comparable CRT performance, but they do not always yield improvement in terms of hemodynamic parameters with respect to S-BS. The computational results confirmed the in vivo observations, thus providing theoretical support to the clinical experiments.
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