ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVESWe sought to assess the effect of baseline ejection fraction on survival difference between patients with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias who were treated with an antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).BACKGROUNDThe Antiarrhythmics Versus Implantable Defibrillators (AVID) study demonstrated improved survival in patients with ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia with a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤0.40 or hemodynamic compromise.METHODSSurvival differences between AAD-treated and ICD-treated patients entered into the AVID study (patients presenting with sustained ventricular arrhythmia associated with an LVEF ≤0.40 or hemodynamic compromise) were compared at different levels of ejection fraction.RESULTSIn patients with an LVEF ≥0.35, there was no difference in survival between AAD-treated and ICD-treated patients. A test for interaction was not significant, but had low power to detect an interaction. For patients with an LVEF 0.20 to 0.34, there was a significantly improved survival with ICD as compared with AAD therapy. In the smaller subgroup with an LVEF <0.20, the same magnitude of survival difference was seen as that in the 0.20 to 0.34 LVEF subgroup, but the difference did not reach statistical significance.CONCLUSIONSThese data suggest that patients with relatively well-preserved LVEF (≥0.35) may not have better survival when treated with the ICD as compared with AADs. At a lower LVEF, the ICD appears to offer improved survival as compared with AADs. Prospective studies with larger patient numbers are needed to assess the effect of relatively well-preserved ejection fraction (≥0.35) on the relative treatment effect of AADs and the ICDs.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology.