Quality of Life in Cardiac Resynchronization Recipients: Association with Response and Impact on Outcome

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The prognostic impact of improvement in health-related quality of life (QoL) and its relation to response in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) recipients remains unknown.


To assess the correspondence between response to CRT and improvements in QoL and to verify if a change in QoL after pacing influences outcome in CRT patients.


Ninety-seven participants of the Triple-Site Versus Standard Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Trial (TRUST CRT) randomized trial, in New York Heart Association class III-IV, QRS width ≥ 120 ms, left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35%, and significant mechanical dyssynchrony were included. Subjects filled out the Minnesota-QoL questionnaire prior to and 6 months after CRT with defibrillator (CRT-D) implantation. Data on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs: death, heart failure hospitalization, heart transplant) collected within the next 2.5 years and adjudicated blindly constituted the censoring variables.


Within the first 6 months of resynchronization QoL improved in 81%, while worsening in 19% of patients. Clinical response, but not the echocardiographic one, was associated with improved QoL. During subsequent 2.5 years MACEs occurred in 37% of patients (23% died). Subjects without QoL improvement were significantly (both P < 0.05) more prone to experience MACE (61% vs 32%) and die (44% vs 18%) within the follow-up. Unimproved QoL increased the probability of future MACE by 2.7 times (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.26–5.83; P = 0.01) and death by 3.2 times (95% CI: 1.23–8.32; P = 0.02) independently from clinical and echocardiographic response.


Clinical response, but not the echocardiographic one, was associated with improved QoL in CRT recipients. These preliminary data suggest that lack of improvement in QoL after CRT was associated with a strongly unfavorable prognosis, regardless of functional or echocardiographic response. Our results merit further studies with a larger number of patients.

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