Primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in a nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy population: reappraisal of the role of programmed ventricular stimulation

Konstantinos A Gatzoulis, Apostolos-Ilias Vouliotis, Dimitris Tsiachris, Maria Salourou, Stefanos Archontakis, Polychronis Dilaveris, Theodoros Gialernios, Petros Arsenos, Georgios Karystinos, Skevos Sideris, Ioannis Kallikazaros, Christodoulos Stefanadis
Circulation. Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 2013, 6 (3): 504-12

BACKGROUND: We considered the role of programmed ventricular stimulation in primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in an idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy population.

METHODS AND RESULTS: One hundred fifty-eight patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy underwent programmed ventricular stimulation. Ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation was triggered in 44 patients (group I, 27.8%) versus 114 patients (group II), where ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation was not induced. Sixty-nine patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy underwent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation: 41/44 in group I and 28/114 in group II. The major end points of the study were overall mortality and appropriate ICD activation. Overall mortality during the 46.9 months of mean follow-up was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Patients with left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35% (n=119) demonstrated a higher overall mortality rate compared with the patients with left ventricular ejection fraction >35% (n=39; 16.8% versus 10.3%, log-rank P=0.025). Advanced New York Heart Association class (III and IV versus I and II) was the single independent and strongest prognostic factor of overall mortality (hazard ratio, 11.909; P<0.001; confidence interval, 3.106-45.65), as well as of cardiac mortality (hazard ratio, 14.787; P=0.001; confidence interval, 2.958-73.922). Among ICD recipients, ICD activation rate was significantly higher in group I compared with group II (30 of 41 patients-73.2% versus 5 of 28 patients-17.9%; log-rank P=0.001), either in the form of antitachycardia pacing (68.3% versus 17.9%; log-rank P=0.001) or in the shock delivery form (51.2% versus 17.9%; log-rank P=0.05). Induction of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation during programmed ventricular stimulation in contrast to left ventricular ejection fraction was the single independent prognostic factor for future ICD activation (hazard ratio, 4.195; P=0.007; confidence interval, 1.467-11.994).

CONCLUSIONS: Inducibility of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation was associated with an increased likelihood of subsequent ICD activation and sudden cardiac death surrogate.

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