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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2013 Mar;24(3):316-22. doi: 10.1111/jce.12037. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

Functional response to cardiac resynchronization therapy is associated with improved clinical outcome and absence of appropriate shocks.

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Department of Cardiology, Medical Centre Alkmaar (MCA), Alkmaar, The Netherlands.



We evaluated clinical outcome and incidence of (in)appropriate shocks in consecutive chronic heart failure (CHF) patients treated with CRT with a defibrillator (CRT-D) according to functional response status. Furthermore, we investigated which factors predict such functional response.


In a large teaching hospital, 179 consecutive CHF patients received CRT-D in 2005-2010. Patients were considered functional responders if left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) increased to ≥ 35% postimplantation. Analysis was performed on 142 patients, who had CRT-D as primary prevention, complete data and a baseline LVEF <35%. Endpoints consisted of all-cause mortality, heart failure (HF) hospitalizations, appropriate shocks and inappropriate shocks. Median follow-up was 3.0 years (interquartile range [IQR] 1.6-4.4) and median baseline LVEF was 20% (IQR 18-25%). The functional response-group consisted of 42 patients. In this group no patients died, none were hospitalized for HF, none received appropriate shocks and 3 patients (7.1%) received ≥ 1 inappropriate shocks. In comparison, the functional nonresponse group consisted of 100 patients, of whom 22 (22%) died (P = 0.003), 17 (17%) were hospitalized for HF (P = 0.007), 17 (17%) had ≥ 1 appropriate shocks (P = 0.003) and 8 (8.1%) received ≥ 1 inappropriate shocks (P = 0.78). Multivariable analysis showed that left bundle branch block (LBBB), QRS duration ≥ 150 milliseconds and no need for diuretics at baseline are independent predictors of functional response.


Functional responders to CRT have a good prognosis and rarely need ICD therapy. LBBB, QRS duration ≥ 150 milliseconds and lack of chronic diuretic use predict functional response.

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