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JAMA. 2008 Jun 11;299(22):2656-66. doi: 10.1001/jama.299.22.2656.

Clinical implications of QRS duration in patients hospitalized with worsening heart failure and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction.

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  • 1Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Hospitalization for heart failure is associated with high postdischarge mortality and morbidity. The predictive value of the QRS duration during admission for heart failure has not been well studied.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the predictive value of the QRS duration in patients hospitalized for heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Retrospective, post hoc analysis from the Efficacy of Vasopressin Antagonism in Heart Failure Outcome Study With Tolvaptan (EVEREST), an event-driven, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in patients hospitalized for heart failure and having an LVEF of 40% or less. A total of 4133 patients were enrolled at 359 North American, South American, and European sites between October 7, 2003, and February 3, 2006. After excluding 1029 patients with a pacemaker, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, or both at enrollment and 142 patients without a reported baseline QRS duration, 2962 patients were included in the analysis: 1641 had a normal QRS duration (< 120 ms) and 1321 had a prolonged QRS duration (> or = 120 ms).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Dual primary end points were all-cause mortality and the composite of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure.

RESULTS:

During a median follow-up of 9.9 months, all-cause mortality was 18.7% for patients with a normal baseline QRS duration and 28.1% for patients with a prolonged baseline QRS duration (hazard ratio [HR], 1.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38-1.87). The composite of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure was 32.4% for patients with a baseline QRS duration less than 120 ms and 41.6% for patients with a baseline QRS duration of 120 ms or greater (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.24-1.58). The increased risk associated with prolonged QRS duration was confirmed after adjusting for multiple variables for all-cause mortality (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.02-1.50) and the composite of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.10-1.49). Only 105 patients (3.6%) who presented with a prolonged baseline QRS duration had a normal QRS duration on their last inpatient electrocardiogram.

CONCLUSION:

A prolonged QRS duration appears common in patients with reduced LVEF who are hospitalized for heart failure and is an independent predictor of high postdischarge morbidity and mortality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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