Cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator improves long-term survival compared with cardiac resynchronization therapy-pacemaker in patients with a class IA indication for cardiac resynchronization therapy: data from the Contak Italian Registry

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In candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), the choice between pacemaker (CRT-P) and defibrillator (CRT-D) implantation is still debated. We compared the long-term prognosis of patients who received CRT-D or CRT-P according to class IA recommendations of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and who were enrolled in a multicentre prospective registry.

Methods and results

A total of 620 heart failure patients underwent successful implantation of a CRT device and were enrolled in the Contak Italian Registry. This analysis included 266 patients who received a CRT-D and 108 who received a CRT-P according to class IA ESC indications. Their survival status was verified after a median follow-up of 55 months. During follow-up, 73 CRT-D and 44 CRT-P patients died (rate 6.6 vs. 10.4%/year; log-rank test, P = 0.020). Patients receiving CRT-P were predominantly older, female, had no history of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias, and more frequently presented non-ischaemic aetiology of heart failure, longer QRS durations, and worse renal function. However, the only independent predictor of death from any cause was the use of CRT-P (hazard ratio, 1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.21–3.16; P = 0.007).


The implantation of CRT-D, rather than CRT-P, may be preferable in patients presenting with current class IA ESC indications for CRT. Indeed, CRT-D resulted in greater long-term survival and was independently associated with a better prognosis.

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