The purpose of this study was to determine predictors of appropriate implantable defibrillator (ICD) therapy among patients with heart failure who are treated with a cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D).Methods and Results
Patients enrolled in the Ventak CHF/Contak CD study were treated with a CRT-D device and were required to have NYHA class II–IV CHF, QRS duration ≥120 msec, and a class I or II indication for an ICD. The study database was retrospectively analyzed during the 6-month postimplant period to identify predictors of appropriate ICD therapy. Five hundred and one of the 581 patients enrolled in the trial had successful device implantation and were included in this analysis. Patients were mostly male (83%), 66 ± 11 years old, and had coronary artery disease (69%), a mean left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) = 0.22 ± 0.07, and NYHA class II (33%), III (58%), or IV (9%) CHF symptoms. During 6 months of follow-up, 73 of 501 (14%) patients received an appropriate ICD therapy. Two independent predictors of appropriate therapy were identified: a history of a spontaneous, sustained ventricular arrhythmia (HR = 2.05; 95% CI = 1.31–3.20; P = 0.002) and NYHA class IV CHF (HR = 1.81; 95% CI = 1.10–2.96; P = 0.019). When patients with NYHA class II were excluded from analysis, a history of a sustained ventricular arrhythmia and the presence of NYHA class IV CHF symptoms remained as independent predictors of appropriate ICD therapy.Conclusions
In a select population of advanced heart failure patients receiving a CRT-D, NYHA class IV CHF was a powerful independent predictor of appropriate ICD therapy. Approximately one-quarter of the patients with NYHA class IV CHF who received a CRT-D device received an appropriate ICD therapy within 3 months after implant. Additional studies are needed to confirm an association between class IV CHF symptoms and an increased frequency of ICD shocks.