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Patient-assessed short-term positive response to cardiac resynchronization therapy is an independent predictor of long-term mortality

Christian Reitan , Zoltan Bakos , Pyotr G Platonov , Carl-Johan Höijer , Johan Brandt , Lingwei Wang , Rasmus Borgquist
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euu058 1603-1609 First published online: 28 March 2014


Aims Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has a well-documented positive effect on mortality and heart failure morbidity. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term survival and the predictive value of self-assessed functional status on the long-term prognosis of patients treated with CRT-pacemaker (CRT-P).

Methods and results Data were retrospectively collected from medical records of 446 consecutive patients implanted with CRT-P at a large-volume Swedish tertiary care centre. Primary outcome was all-cause mortality, predictive variables were assessed by log-rank test and univariate cox regression. Three hundred and nine patients had reliable information available on early improvement after implantation and were included in the multivariate analyses. The cohort was followed for a median of 79 months and was similar in baseline characteristics compared with major controlled trials. During follow-up 204 patients died, yearly mortality was 11.7%. Early improvement of self-assessed functional status was a strong independent predictor of survival [hazard ratio, HR 0.59, confidence interval (CI) 0.40–0.87, P = 0.007], together with well-known predictors; NYHA III–IV vs I–II (HR 1.66, CI 1.09–2.536, P = 0.018), age (HR 1.05, CI 1.03–1.08, P < 0.001), male gender (HR 2.0, CI 1.11–3.45, P = 0.021), and loop diuretic use (HR 4.41, CI 1.08–18.02). Patients with early improvement of self-assessed functional status had better 2-year and 5-year survival (P < 0.001).

Conclusions Real-life patient characteristics and predictors of outcome compare well with those in published prospective trials. Self-assessed functional status is a strong predictor of long-term survival, which may have implications for a more active follow-up of patients without spontaneous improvement.

  • CRT
  • Long-term follow-up
  • Heart failure
  • Prognostic factors
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