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Am J Cardiol. 2019 May 29. pii: S0002-9149(19)30593-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.05.026. [Epub ahead of print]

The Benefit of Prophylactic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Implantation in Asymptomatic Heart Failure Patients With a Reduced Ejection Fraction.

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Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Cardiology, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Cardiology, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:


Recommendations for prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation in asymptomatic heart failure patients with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) differ between guidelines. Evidence on the risk of appropriate device therapy (ADT) and death in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class I patients is scarce. Aim of this study is to evaluate ADT and mortality in NYHA-I primary prevention ICD patients with a LVEF ≤35%. A retrospective cohort was studied, including 572 patients with LVEF ≤35% who received a prophylactic ICD with or without resynchronization therapy (CRT-D). To evaluate the incidence of ADT and mortality, NYHA-I was compared with NYHA-II-III using Cox regression analysis. During a follow-up of 4.1 ± 2.4 years, 33% of the NYHA-I patients received ADT compared with 20% of the NYHA-II-III patients (hazard ratio 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 2.31, p = 0.03). No differences in mortality were observed (hazard ratio 0.70, 95% confidence interval 0.49 to 1.07, p = 0.10). Additional analyses showed no difference in time to ADT excluding CRT patients (ICD-NYHA-I patients vs ICD-NYHA-II-III patients, p = 0.17) and comparing ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy NYHA-I patients (p = 0.13). Multivariable Cox regression analyses showed that NYHA class was the strongest independent predictor of ADT. In conclusion, primary prevention NYHA-I ICD patients showed a higher incidence of ADT compared with NYHA-II-III ICD patients. These results strongly suggest that primary prevention NYHA-I patients with a LVEF ≤35% are likely to benefit from ICD therapy and should not be excluded from a potentially life-saving therapy.

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