Objectives To evaluate the clinical response to cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) in patients with heart failure and a normal QRS duration (<120 ms).
Setting Single centre.
Patients 60 patients with heart failure and a normal QRS duration receiving optimal pharmacological treatment (OPT).
Interventions Patients were randomly assigned to CRT (n=29) or to a control group (OPT, n=31). Cardiovascular magnetic resonance was used in order to avoid scar at the site of left ventricular (LV) lead deployment.
Main outcome measures The primary end point was a change in 6 min walking distance (6-MWD). Other measures included a change in quality of life scores (Minnesota Living with Heart Failure questionnaire) and New York Heart Association class.
Results In 93% of implantations, the LV lead was deployed over non-scarred myocardium. At 6 months, the 6-MWD increased with CRT compared with OPT (p<0.0001), with more patients reaching a ≥25% increase (51.7% vs 12.9%, p=0.0019). Compared with OPT, CRT led to an improvement in quality-of-life scores (p=0.0265) and a reduction in NYHA class (p<0.0001). The composite clinical score (survival for 6 months free of heart failure hospitalisations plus improvement by one or more NYHA class or by ≥25% in 6-MWD) was better in CRT than in OPT (83% vs 23%, respectively; p<0.0001). Although no differences in total or cardiovascular mortality emerged between OPT and CRT, patients receiving OPT had a higher risk of death from pump failure than patients assigned to CRT (HR=8.41, p=0.0447) after a median follow-up of 677.5 days.
Conclusions CRT leads to an improvement in symptoms, exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with heart failure and a normal QRS duration. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00480051.)
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Funding Medtronic Inc. Bakken Research Centre, The Netherlands.
Competing interests PWXF held a research fellowship sponsored by Medtronic Inc. BS is an employee of Medtronic Inc. REAS and FL have received sponsorship from Medtronic Inc. MPF has received a grant in aid funding for investigator-led studies from Medtronic Inc and is on the End Points Committee for a study funded by Biotronik.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the North Birmigham Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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