JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Prophylactic defibrillator implantation in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy

Alan Kadish, Alan Dyer, James P Daubert, Rebecca Quigg, N A Mark Estes, Kelley P Anderson, Hugh Calkins, David Hoch, Jeffrey Goldberger, Alaa Shalaby, William E Sanders, Andi Schaechter, Joseph H Levine
New England Journal of Medicine 2004 May 20, 350 (21): 2151-8
15152060

BACKGROUND: Patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy are at substantial risk for sudden death from cardiac causes. However, the value of prophylactic implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to prevent sudden death in such patients is unknown.

METHODS: We enrolled 458 patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 36 percent, and premature ventricular complexes or nonsustained ventricular tachycardia. A total of 229 patients were randomly assigned to receive standard medical therapy, and 229 to receive standard medical therapy plus a single-chamber ICD.

RESULTS: Patients were followed for a mean (+/-SD) of 29.0+/-14.4 months. The mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 21 percent. The vast majority of patients were treated with angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (86 percent) and beta-blockers (85 percent). There were 68 deaths: 28 in the ICD group, as compared with 40 in the standard-therapy group (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.40 to 1.06; P=0.08). The mortality rate at two years was 14.1 percent in the standard-therapy group (annual mortality rate, 7 percent) and 7.9 percent in the ICD group. There were 17 sudden deaths from arrhythmia: 3 in the ICD group, as compared with 14 in the standard-therapy group (hazard ratio, 0.20; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.06 to 0.71; P=0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with severe, nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy who were treated with ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, the implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator significantly reduced the risk of sudden death from arrhythmia and was associated with a nonsignificant reduction in the risk of death from any cause.

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