Clinical Long-Term Response to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Is Independent of Persisting Echocardiographic Markers of Dyssynchrony

Barbara Naegeli, Hans-Peter Brunner-La Rocca, Christine Attenhofer Jost, Anja Fah-Gunz, Dominik Maurer, Osmund Bertel, Christoph Scharf


Background: The aim of the study was to prove the concept that correction of established parameters of dyssynchrony is a requirement for favorable long-term outcome in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), whereas patients with persisting dyssynchrony should have a less favorable response.

Methods: After CRT implantation and optimization of dyssynchrony parameters, we evaluated whether correction or persistence of dyssynchrony predicted long-term outcome. Primary endpoint was a combination of cardiac mortality/heart transplantation and hospitalization due to worsening heart failure, and secondary endpoint was NYHA class.

Results: One hundred twenty-eight consecutive patients (mean age 68 ± 10 years) undergoing CRT with a mean left ventricular ejection fraction of 27±9% were followed for 27 ± 19 months. All cause mortality was 17.2%, cardiac mortality was 7.8% and 3.1% had to undergo heart transplantation. Rehospitalization due to worsening heart failure was observed in 14.8%. NYHA class before CRT implantation was 2.8 ± 0.8 and improved during follow-up to 2.0 ± 0.8 (P < 0.001). A clinical response was observed in 76% (n = 97) and an echocardiographic response was documented in 66% (n = 85). After individually optimized AV and VV intervals with echocardiography, atrioventricular dyssynchrony was still present in 7.2%, interventricular dyssynchrony in 13.3% and intraventricular dyssynchrony in 16.4%. Despite persistent atrioventricular, interventricular and intraventricular dyssynchrony at long-term follow-up, the combined primary and secondary endpoints did not differ compared to the group without mechanical dyssynchrony (P = ns). QRS duration with biventricular stimulation did not differ between responders vs. nonresponders.

Conclusion: After successful CRT implantation, clinical long-term response is independent of correction of dyssynchrony measured by echocardiographic parameters and QRS width.

Cardiol Res. 2014;5(6):163-170


Heart failure; Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Echocardiography; Doppler; Dyssynchrony; Outcome

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