Long-term follow-up of cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with end-stage heart failure
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology , Volume 16 - Issue 7 p. 701- 707
Long-Term Follow-Up of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy. Introduction: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has been introduced to treat patients with end-stage heart failure, and results of this technique are promising. The aim of our study was to assess the sustained benefit of CRT in a large patient cohort with end-stage heart failure at long-term follow-up. In addition, the prognosis of responders and nonresponders was evaluated. Methods and Results: 125 patients with end-stage heart failure, NYHA class III or IV, LVEF <35%, QRS duration >120 msec and left bundle branch block morphology received a biventricular device. At baseline and 6 months after implantation the following parameters were evaluated: NYHA class, Minnesota Quality of life score, QRS duration on surface ECG, 6-minute walking distance and LVEF. Follow-up was obtained up to 3 years. After 6 months, patients were divided in clinical responders and nonresponders according to improvement in NYHA class. All clinical parameters improved significantly at 6-month follow-up. Hospitalization for heart failure was 3.8 ± 4.9 days/year before and 0.7 ± 1.6 days/year after CRT. Survival at 1-, 2-, and 3-year follow-up was 93%, 88%, and 85%, respectively. Responders (78%) showed a significantly better survival than nonresponders at 2- and 3-year follow-up (96% and 93% for responders versus 81% and 73% for nonresponders, P < 0.05). Conclusion: The improvement in functional status and symptoms after CRT is maintained at long-term follow-up (up to 3 years). The clinical improvement was associated with a significant reduction in hospitalization rate which was also maintained over the years. Preimplantation selection of responders may result in even better long-term survival.