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Eur Heart J. 2008 Apr;29(8):1019-28. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn020. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Randomized, double blind study of non-excitatory, cardiac contractility modulation electrical impulses for symptomatic heart failure.

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I. Medizinische Klinik, Klinikum Mannheim GmbH, Universitätsklinikum, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim der Universität Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.



We performed a randomized, double blind, crossover study of cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) signals in heart failure patients.


One hundred and sixty-four subjects with ejection fraction (EF) < 35% and NYHA Class II (24%) or III (76%) symptoms received a CCM pulse generator. Patients were randomly assigned to Group 1 (n = 80, CCM treatment 3 months, sham treatment second 3 months) or Group 2 (n = 84, sham treatment 3 months, CCM treatment second 3 months). The co-primary endpoints were changes in peak oxygen consumption (VO2,peak) and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLWHFQ). Baseline EF (29.3 +/- 6.7% vs. 29.8 +/- 7.8%), VO2,peak (14.1 +/- 3.0 vs. 13.6 +/- 2.7 mL/kg/min), and MLWHFQ (38.9 +/- 27.4 vs. 36.5 +/- 27.1) were similar between the groups. VO2,peak increased similarly in both groups during the first 3 months (0.40 +/- 3.0 vs. 0.37 +/- 3.3 mL/kg/min, placebo effect). During the next 3 months, VO2,peak decreased in the group switched to sham (-0.86 +/- 3.06 mL/kg/min) and increased in patients switched to active treatment (0.16 +/- 2.50 mL/kg/min). MLWHFQ trended better with treatment (-12.06 +/- 15.33 vs. -9.70 +/- 16.71) during the first 3 months, increased during the second 3 months in the group switched to sham (+4.70 +/- 16.57), and decreased further in patients switched to active treatment (-0.70 +/- 15.13). A comparison of values at the end of active treatment periods vs. end of sham treatment periods indicates statistically significantly improved VO2,peak and MLWHFQ (P = 0.03 for each parameter).


In patients with heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction, CCM signals appear safe; exercise tolerance and quality of life (MLWHFQ) were significantly better while patients were receiving active treatment with CCM for a 3-month period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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