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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2013 Oct;24(10):1116-22. doi: 10.1111/jce.12208. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Atrial fibrillation in cardiac resynchronization therapy with a defibrillator: a risk factor for mortality, appropriate and inappropriate shocks.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Medical Centre Alkmaar (MCA), Alkmaar, The Netherlands.



Knowledge about predictive factors for mortality and (in)appropriate shocks in cardiac resynchronization therapy with a defibrillator (CRT-D) should be available and updated to predict clinical outcome.


We retrospectively analyzed 543 consecutive patients assigned to CRT-D in 2 tertiary medical centers. The aim of this study was to assess risk factors for all-cause mortality, appropriate and inappropriate shocks.


Mean follow-up time was 3.2 (±1.8) years. A total of 110 (20%) patients died, 71 (13%) received ≥1 appropriate shocks, and 33 (6.1%) received ≥1 inappropriate shocks. No patients received a His bundle ablation and biventricular pacing percentage was not analyzed. Multivariable Cox regression analysis showed that a history of atrial fibrillation (AF) (HR 1.74 CI 1.06-2.86), higher creatinine (HR 1.12; CI 1.08-1.16), and a poorer left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (HR 0.97; CI 0.94-1.01) independently predict all-cause mortality. In the entire cohort, history of AF and secondary prevention were independent predictors of appropriate shocks and variables associated with inappropriate shocks were history of AF and QRS ≥150 milliseconds. In primary prevention patients, history of AF also predicted appropriate shocks as did ischemic cardiomyopathy and poorer LVEF. History of AF, QRS ≥150 milliseconds, and lower creatinine were associated with inappropriate shocks in this subgroup. Appropriate shocks increased mortality risk, but inappropriate shocks did not.


In symptomatic CHF patients treated with CRT-D, history of AF is an independent risk factor not only for mortality, but also for appropriate and inappropriate shocks. Further efforts in AF management may optimize the care in CRT-D patients.


atrial fibrillation; cardiac resynchronization therapy; heart failure; implantable cardioverter defibrillator; mortality

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