Implantable cardiac monitors in high-risk post-infarction patients with cardiac autonomic dysfunction and moderately reduced left ventricular ejection fraction: Design and rationale of the SMART-MI trial

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BackgroundMost deaths after myocardial infarction (MI) occur in patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) >35%, for whom no specific prophylactic strategies exist. Deceleration capacity (DC) of heart rate and periodic repolarization dynamics (PRD) are noninvasive electrophysiological markers depending on the vagal and sympathetic tone. The combination of abnormal DC and/or PRD identifies a new high-risk group among postinfarction patients with LVEF 36%-50%. This new high-risk group has similar characteristics with respect to prognosis and patient numbers to those of the established high-risk group identified by LVEF ≤ 35%.Study designThe SMART-MI trial is an investigator-initiated randomized prospective multicenter trial that tests the efficacy of implantable cardiac monitors (ICM) in this new high-risk group. The study will enroll approximately 1,600 survivors of acute MI with sinus rhythm and an LVEF of 35%-50% in 17 centers in Germany who will be tested for presence of cardiac autonomic dysfunction. Four hundred patients with either abnormal DC (≤2.5 ms) and/or PRD (≥5.75 deg2) will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to intensive follow-up via telemonitoring using an ICM device (experimental arm) or conventional follow-up (control arm). For the ICM arm, specific treatment paths have been developed according to current guidelines.OutcomesThe primary end point is time to detection of predefined serious arrhythmic events during follow-up, including atrial fibrillation ≥6 minutes, nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (cycle length ≤320 ms; ≥40 beats), atrioventricular block ≥IIb, and sustained ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation. The median follow-up period is 18 months with a minimum follow-up of 6 months. The effect of remote monitoring on clinical outcomes will be tested as secondary outcome measure ( NCT02594488).

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