Close connection between improvement in left ventricular function by cardiac resynchronization therapy and the incidence of arrhythmias in cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator patients
Aims The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between improved ejection fraction (EF) and occurrence of arrhythmias in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy devices with defibrillator function (CRT-D). The hypothesis was that patients who experienced a marked improvement in EF also had fewer appropriate defibrillator interventions. Methods and results We analysed data of 270 patients from2 prospective registries with follow-up of ≥12 months and echocardiography performed ≥8 months after CRT-D implantation. The discriminator was whether left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improved to >35 [cut-off for primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation]. Mean age was 61 ± 11 years, LVEF 22 ± 5, and follow-up 40 ± 22 months. Ischaemic cardiomyopathy was present in 48, and secondary prevention indication was present in 25. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator interventions were delivered to 35 of patients. Echocardiography (20 ± 15 months after implantation) showed an improvement in LVEF from 22 (SD 5.4) to 30 (SD 9.8). Improvement to >35 was seen in 21 of patients. Those who improved to >35 had fewer ICD interventions than those who did not (23 vs.38; P-value 0.03). Analysing only patients with a primary prevention indication and stratifying again in patients with and without improvement of LVEF to >35, the latter had highly significant more ICD-therapies (6 vs. 31; P-value 0.0008).Conclusion Patients with CRT-D for primary prevention, whose LVEF improved to >35 during mid-term follow-up, are at low risk of first ICD therapies beyond year 1. If similar findings are reported in other patient cohorts, this might impact on decision-making at the time of battery depletion.