A potential therapy for the condition of cardiomyopathy associated with dyssynchronous contraction is cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Resynchronization therapy involves a device, a type of pacemaker, in which electrical impulses are delivered to the heart to help correctly time or "resynchronize" the heart's contractions. This is done by using the device to stimulate the left and right ventricles at nearly the same time to restore the coordinated pumping action of the heart.
Successful CRT may help, along with medications, to alleviate the symptoms of heart failure. These symptoms include difficulty breathing, especially when lying flat or when active, rapid breathing, swelling in feet and legs, and decreased energy. Over a long period of time, CRT may even help the heart return to its normal shape and size.
Multiple clinical studies have demonstrated that CRT helps decrease symptoms of heart failure, improve functional status, and reduce mortality in adult patients with heart failure. The causes of heart failure in children and young adults tend to be different from adults. Nevertheless, some limited studies have demonstrated that CRT helps to improve heart function and improve symptoms in pediatric patients with various diagnoses.