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Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Physiology

Improvement of Left Ventricular Function under Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Goes along with a Reduced Incidence of Ventricular Arrhythmia
Published: Monday, November 12, 2012
Author: Christian Eickholt et al.

by Christian Eickholt, Marcus Siekiera, Kiriakos Kirmanoglou, Astrid Rodenbeck, Nicole Heussen, Patrick Schauerte, Artur Lichtenberg, Jan Balzer, Tienush Rassaf, Stefan Perings, Malte Kelm, Dong-In Shin, Christian Meyer


The beneficial effects of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) are thought to result from favorable left ventricular (LV) reverse remodeling, however CRT is only successful in about 70% of patients. Whether response to CRT is associated with a decrease in ventricular arrhythmias (VA) is still discussed controversially. Therefore, we investigated the incidence of VA in CRT responders in comparison with non-responders.


In this nonrandomized, two-center, observational study patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure, LV ejection fraction (LVEF) =35%, and QRS duration >120 ms undergoing CRT were included. After 6 months patients were classified as CRT responders or non-responders. Incidence of VA was compared between both groups by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression analysis. ROC analysis was performed to determine the aptitude of LVEF cut-off values to predict VA.


In total 126 consecutive patients (64±11years; 67%male) were included, 74 were classified as responders and 52 as non-responders. While the mean LVEF at baseline was comparable in both groups (25±7% vs. 24±8%; P?=?0.4583) only the responder group showed an improvement of LVEF (36±6% vs. 24±7; p<0.0001) under CRT. In total in 56 patients VA were observed during a mean follow-up of 28±14 months, with CRT responders experiencing fewer VA than non-responders (35% vs. 58%, p<0.0061). Secondary preventive CRT implantation was associated with a higher likelihood of VA. As determined by ROC analysis an increase of LVEF by >7% was found to be a predictor of a significantly lower incidence of VA (AUC?=?0.606).


Improvement of left ventricular function under cardiac resynchronization therapy goes along with a reduced incidence of ventricular arrhythmia.