Background: The incidence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias in ICD patients with cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT-D) is not well studied. Aim: To analyse event free survival in CRT-D patients with a primary or a secondary prophylactic ICD indication. Methods: Prospective, single centre. Eighty-six patients, 44% with a primary prophylactic indication. Actuarial event-free rates for mortality and arrhythmias were calculated. Results: Baseline clinical characteristics were not significantly different between primary and secondary prophylaxis. Primary prophylaxis patients were more likely to be in NYHA class III. Over 21 months, 724 ventricular events with therapy occurred in 36 patients (42%). The actuarial event-free rates, at 1 and 3 years, from appropriate ICD therapy were higher (P < 0.001) for primary (79.0% and 67.8%) than for secondary prophylaxis (45.6% and 27.0%). Appropriate ICD therapy occurred more in NYHA class II compared to class III (P = 0.016). Underlying disease (ischemic versus non-ischemic) and functional class did not play a role in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Important arrhythmic events in patients with heart failure, and CRT-D occur at a very high rate when the indication is secondary prophylaxis. Patients with primary prophylaxis have an annual event rate of 10%, even though they tend to have a worse heart failure class.

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European Journal of Heart Failure
Department of Cardiology

Theuns, D., Thornton, A., Klootwijk, P., Scholten, M., Vantrimpont, P., Balk, A., & Jordaens, L. (2005). Outcome in patients with an ICD incorporating cardiac resynchronisation therapy: Differences between primary and secondary prophylaxis. European Journal of Heart Failure, 7(6), 1027–1032. doi:10.1016/j.ejheart.2005.05.006