Biventricular pacing (BVP) therapy has recently emerged as an effective treatment for patients with moderate to severe congestive heart failure (CHF) and ventricular asynchrony all over the world. However, this therapy is not yet available in Japan. We evaluated the effects of BVP in patients with severe CHF due to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Four patients with medically refractory severe CHF due to DCM in New York Heart Association functional class III or IV heart failure underwent BVP therapy. We combined the implantation of the left ventricular (LV) epicardial lead via small thoracotomy following right atrial and ventricular intravenous leads under general anesthesia. We evaluated to determine whether improvements of ventricular function, ventricular size, mitral regurgitation, functional status, frequency of hospitalization, and quality of life were associated with BVP therapy.
BVP improved LV systolic function, decreased LV size and mitral regurgitation, and shortened prolonged QRS interval. The patients' symptoms, exercise tolerance, frequency of hospitalization, and quality of life were also dramatically improved by BVP. Furthermore, combination of BVP and oral administration of amiodarone significantly prevented recurrence of ventricular tachycardia and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, and maintained sinus rhythm for a long period.
In view of these findings, BVP therapy may contribute to the development of new therapeutic method for patients with severe CHF due to DCM.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF) and heart failure often coexist; however, the effect of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) on the incidence of AF and on the outcome of patients with new-onset AF remains undefined.
In the CArdiac REsynchronisation in Heart Failure (CARE-HF) trial, 813 patients with moderate or severe heart failure were randomly assigned to pharmacological therapy alone or with the addition of CRT. The incidence of AF was assessed by adverse event reporting and by ECGs during follow-up, and the impact of new-onset AF on the outcome and efficacy of CRT was evaluated. By the end of the study (mean duration of follow-up 29.4 months), AF had been documented in 66 patients in the CRT group compared with 58 who received medical therapy only (16.1% versus 14.4%; hazard ratio 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.50; P=0.79). There was no difference in the time until first onset of AF between groups. Mortality was higher in patients who developed AF, but AF was not a predictor in the multivariable model (hazard ratio 1.17; 95% confidence interval, 0.82 to 1.67; P=0.37). In patients with new-onset AF, CRT significantly reduced the risk for all-cause mortality and all other predefined end points and improved ejection fraction and symptoms (no interaction between AF and CRT; all P>0.2).
Although CRT did not reduce the incidence of AF, CRT improved the outcome regardless of whether AF developed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure often coexist and are believed to directly predispose to each other. Cardiac resynchronization does not prevent or increase the induction of AF. However, new onset of AF does not seem to diminish the beneficial effects of CRT on symptoms, cardiac function and, more importantly, all-cause mortality if appropriate ventricular rate control by beta-blockers and digoxin is being achieved. While a pharmacological approach to control ventricular rate may be sufficient in most patients with paroxysmal AF or AF of shorter duration in those with permanent AF ablation strategies may be necessary. Observational studies and one randomized trial indicate a potential benefit of CRT in heart failure patients with chronic AF; particularly, biventricular pacing was superior compared to conventional right-univentricular stimulation. However, recent results suggest that even relatively high percentage biventricular capture may be inadequate, and that the benefits of CRT may only be extended to chronic AF patients with previous AV junctional ablation. Well designed and powered clinical trials are required before pacemaker dependency is created in large numbers of heart failure patients.
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