The RAFT (Resynchronization in Ambulatory Heart Failure Trial) demonstrated that cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) reduced both mortality and heart failure hospitalizations in patients with functional class II or III heart failure and widened QRS. We examined the influence of CRT on ventricular arrhythmias in patients with primary versus secondary prophylaxis defibrillator indications.Methods and Results—
All ventricular arrhythmias among RAFT study participants were downloaded and adjudicated by 2 blinded reviewers with an overreader for disagreements and committee review for remaining discrepancies. Incidence of ventricular arrhythmias among patients randomized to CRT-D versus implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) were compared within the groups of patients treated for primary prophylaxis and for secondary prophylaxis. Of 1798 enrolled patients, 1764 had data available for adjudication and were included. Of these, 1531 patients were implanted for primary prophylaxis, while 233 patients were implanted for secondary prophylaxis; 884 patients were randomized to ICD and 880 to CRT-D. During 5953.6 patient-years of follow-up, there were 11 278 appropriate ICD detections of ventricular arrhythmias. In the primary prophylaxis group, CRT-D significantly reduced incidence ventricular arrhythmias in comparison to ICD (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% confidence interval, 0.74–0.99; P=0.044). This effect was not seen in the secondary prophylaxis group (hazard ratio, 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.82–1.58; P=0.45). CRT-D was not associated with significant differences in overall ventricular arrhythmia burden in either group.Conclusions—
CRT reduced the rate of onset of new ventricular arrhythmias detected by ICDs in patients without a history of prior ventricular arrhythmias. This effect was not observed among patients who had prior ventricular arrhythmias.Clinical Trial Registration—
URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00251251.