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Minerva Cardiology and Angiology 2022 August;70(4):447-54

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5683.20.05352-9


language: English

Incidence of ventricular arrhythmias after biventricular defibrillator replacement: impact on safety of downgrading from CRT-D to CRT-P

Martina NESTI 1 , Giuseppe RICCIARDI 2, Paolo PIERAGNOLI 2, Stefano FUMAGALLI 3, Margherita PADELETTI 4, Alessandro P. PERINI 5, Elena CAVARRETTA 6, 7, Luigi SCIARRA 8

1 Department of Cardiovascular and Neurological, San Donato Hospital, Arezzo, Italy; 2 Department of Cardiology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 3 Department of Geriatrics, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 4 Unit of Cardiology, Mugello Hospital, Florence, Italy; 5 Unit of Cardiology and Electrophysiology, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, Florence, Italy; 6 Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University, Latina, Italy; 7 Mediterranea Cardiocentro, Naples, Italy; 8 Department of Cardiology, Casilino Polyclinc, Rome, Italy

BACKGROUND: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) reduces mortality and hospitalizations. It is debated whether CRT alone (CRT-P) or CRT plus defibrillator (CRT-D) is preferable, and still guidelines are not exhaustive. The aim of the study was to investigate whether to implant CRT-P or CRT-D in CRT-D patients who did not experience malignant arrhythmias at the moment of replacement.
METHODS: Out of 451 heart failure patients undergoing CRT-D according to guidelines, 103 (67±10 years, 80% men) underwent device replacement with CRT-D. Every 6 months patients underwent to clinical evaluation and device interrogation and episodes of ventricular arrhythmias (VA) stored. At baseline and before replacement echocardiogram was performed. Patients were defined responders if left ventricular (LV) end-systolic volume decreased ≥15% and super-responders if LV ejection fraction increased ≥40% or ≥50%.
RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 75±24 months after implantation and 26±10 months after replacement. First VAs incidence per year did not decrease over time (P=0.619). Before replacement, 27 patients (26.2%, 15 responders/12 non-responders) experienced VA. After replacement, 8 patients (7.7%, 4 responders/4 non-responders) experienced VA for the first time. Super-responder condition was not associated with lower VA incidence before (0.499) and after (P=0.339) replacement. At multivariate analysis, age was the only independent predictor of electrical appropriate therapy after substitution (ORper year=1.17; 95% CI: 1.03-1.34; P=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: Freedom from VA before device replacement does not correlate with freedom from VA after replacement, so downgrade from CRT-D to CRT-P is not feasible at replacement, in particular in the elderlies, independently of responder and super-responder condition.

KEY WORDS: Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Defibrillators; Arrhythmias, cardiac

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