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Heart Rhythm. 2006 Apr;3(4):406-13.

Prospective validation of stress echocardiography as an identifier of cardiac resynchronization therapy responders.

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Division of Cardiology, University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France.



Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) provides benefit for congestive heart failure (CHF), but predictors of the clinical response are debated.


The aim of this prospective study was to assess the predictive role of dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) in identifying a suitable candidate for CRT.


From March 2001 to December 2003, 71 CHF patients were prospectively enrolled on the basis of four criteria: New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III and IV; QRS > or =150 ms with a left bundle branch block pattern, and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < or =35% under optimal medical treatment. The combined endpoints were hospital readmission for class IV CHF, heart transplant (HT), and CHF-related death.


The 67 patients completing the study presented with the following characteristics: age (70 +/- 10 years; 11 women); etiology (idiopathic in 44, ischemic in 23); NYHA class (40 in class III and 27 in class IV); LVEF 26% (+/-5%); QRS duration (190 +/- 28 ms); 6-minute walk test 330 m (+/-108); peak oxygen uptake 10.7 (+/-3.3 mL/kg/min); mitral insufficiency in 42 (> or =III grade); interventricular (IV) delay (62 +/- 21 ms); and intraventricular dyssynchrony in 30 patients. Over the follow-up period of 12.1 +/- 8.7 months, 20 (29.9%) of 67 patients presented with at least one hemodynamic event: hospitalization for CHF in 19 (28%) of 67, HT in 2 (3%) of 67, and CHF death in 7 (10%) 67. Univariate analysis identified NYHA class (P = .03), LVEF (P = .015), IV dyssynchrony before (P = .038) and after CRT (P = .0035), IV delay after CRT (P = .002), 6-minute walk distance (P = .01), and DSE Res+ (P = .008) as significant predictors of clinical events. A receiver operating curve established a cut-off value of 1.25 for the DSE responders (Res+: 34 patients at 10 microg/kg/min infusion rates), and the improvement at the 10 microg/kg/min level was 41% +/- 7% in Res+ and 29% +/- 8% in nonresponders (P<.0001). With a cut-off value of 1.25-fold the LVEF increase, the DSE test exhibits 70% sensitivity, 61.7% specificity, 43.8% positive predictive value, and 82.9% negative predictive value. Cox analysis identified IV dyssynchrony before CRT (P = .01) and DSE Res+ (P = .003) as independent predictive factors.


Independent predictive factors of severe hemodynamic clinical outcome in patients with CRT are IV dyssynchrony and DSE.

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