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Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy to Prevent Heart Failure: Gathering Momentum

Summary and Comment |
September 1, 2009

Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy to Prevent Heart Failure: Gathering Momentum

  1. Mark S. Link, MD

MADIT-CRT findings demonstrate a benefit of resynchronization in patients with NYHA class I or II heart failure.

  1. Mark S. Link, MD

According to American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/Heart Rhythm Society guidelines, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a Class I indication in individuals with NYHA class III or IV heart failure and prolonged QRS duration. Whether the benefit of CRT extends to NYHA class II patients is less clear, and the data on NYHA class I patients are limited to findings from a short-term study showing improvements in LV remodeling (JW Cardiol Oct 29 2008). Long-awaited findings from the international MADIT-CRT trial addressing the use of CRT in patients with NYHA class I and II heart failure are now available.

From December 22, 2004, through April 23, 2008, researchers enrolled 1820 patients with QRS durations of ≥130 milliseconds, LV ejection fractions of ≤30%, and either ischemic cardiomyopathy and NYHA class I or II symptoms or nonischemic cardiomyopathy and NYHA class II symptoms. The participants were randomized in a 3:2 ratio to receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator with or without CRT. In June 2009 the trial was halted early because of demonstrated superiority of CRT-ICD.

During an average follow-up of 2.4 years, the primary composite endpoint of acute congestive heart failure and all-cause mortality occurred in 187 of 1089 patients in the CRT-ICD group (17.2%) and in 185 of 731 patients in the ICD-only group (25.3%). Because mortality was low, this result was driven by the reduction in heart failure events. In addition, LVEF improved more in CRT-ICD patients than in ICD-only patients (11% vs. 3%). The benefits did not differ between the ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy subgroups.

Comment

The benefit of CRT therapy in patients with low LVEFs now extends to patients with NYHA class I or II heart failure symptoms. These results, along with those of the REVERSE study, should lead to increased use of CRT devices to prevent heart failure and to treat patients with minimal symptoms of heart failure, provided that their LVEFs are reduced and that they have evidence of conduction system disease.

Citation(s):

Reader Comments (1)

Bernard A. Yablin(MD)

I am NYHA Class II.I suspect that my cardiologist is well informed on this, but I will pass this along to him anyhow.

Competing interests: None declared

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