It is not known whether heart failure (HF) patients with prolonged QRS who undergo cardiac resynchronization therapy combined with a defibrillator (CRT-D) have a prognostic advantage over HF patients with narrow QRS (therefore without indication for CRT) treated with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) only. The aim of this study was to compare the long-term mortality of a group of HF patients with prolonged QRS receiving CRT-D with that of a similar group of patients with narrow QRS receiving ICD only.Methods and results
A total of 312 patients (mean age 66 ± 13 years; 84% male, mean left ventricular ejection fraction 25 ± 4%, mean New York Heart Association class 2.6 ± 0.5) were included in the analysis. Of these, 138 with a QRS complex duration ≥120 ms received a CRT-D. During follow-up, the time and cause of death were assessed. During a median follow-up of 46 months, CRT-D patients showed significantly lower overall mortality (P = 0.038). Compared with patients receiving ICD only, CRT-D patients showed lower HF mortality (P = 0.003). Coronary mortality, non-cardiac mortality, and sudden mortality were similar in both groups (all P > 0.05). A positive response to CRT was an independent predictor of reduced mortality on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio: 0.27; P = 0.047).Conclusion
In HF patients treated with ICD, the subgroup of patients with prolonged QRS who receive CRT-D displays better long-term survival than narrow QRS ICD recipients, owing to their reduced HF mortality.