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Question:

Can you keep the left side of the heart from weakening when it is pacemaker dependent?

I have LBBB with a rate responsive pacemaker in place for three years now. Would like to know if there has been any success in the regeneration in the neuron cells to unblock the pathway?  Or any success from patients in improvements to keep the left side from weakening on pacemaker dependence?  Thank you.

submitted by Richard on 10/17/2013

Answer:

J. Alberto Lopez, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, J. Alberto Lopez, MD    

Second question first: In patients with weak hearts (decreased LV ejection fraction) and LBBB, or in those patients in whom the EF decreases after conventional ventricular pacing (right ventricle), cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) by the use of bi-ventricular pacing is able to improve function and symptoms in 70% to 80% of patients.  Discuss with an electrophysiologist whether you are in that group that would benefit from CRT. 

The use of stem cell therapy for conduction defects will not be an option for many, many years to come.

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Updated October 2013
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