Long-term outcomes of left bundle branch block in high-risk survivors of acute myocardial infarction: the VALIANT experience

Kent Stephenson, Hicham Skali, John J V McMurray, Eric J Velazquez, Philip G Aylward, Lars Kober, Frans Van de Werf, Harvey D White, Karen S Pieper, Robert M Califf, Scott D Solomon, Marc A Pfeffer
Heart Rhythm: the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 2007, 4 (3): 308-13

BACKGROUND: In survivors of myocardial infarction (MI), new left bundle branch block (LBBB) is associated with adverse outcomes, but its impact is not well described in post-MI patients with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction and/or heart failure (HF).

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine if new LBBB is an independent predictor of long-term fatal and nonfatal outcomes in high-risk survivors of MI by reviewing data from the VALsartan In Acute myocardial iNfarcTion (VALIANT) trial.

METHODS: In VALIANT, 14,703 patients with LV systolic dysfunction and/or HF were randomized to valsartan, captopril, or both a mean of 5 days after MI. Baseline ECG data were available from 14,259 patients. We assessed the predictive value of new LBBB for death and major cardiovascular outcomes after 3 years, adjusting for multiple baseline covariates including LV ejection fraction.

RESULTS: At follow-up, patients with new LBBB (608 [4.2%]) compared with patients without new LBBB had more comorbidities and increased adjusted risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-1.6), cardiovascular death (HR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.7), HF (HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.6), MI (HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-1.9), and the composite of death, HF, or MI (HR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.6).

CONCLUSION: In post-MI survivors with LV systolic dysfunction and/or HF, new LBBB was an independent predictor of all major adverse cardiovascular outcomes during long-term follow-up. This readily available ECG marker should be considered a major risk factor for long-term cardiovascular complications in high-risk patients after MI.

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