Journal Article
Systematic Review
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Left bundle branch area pacing for heart failure patients requiring cardiac resynchronization therapy: A meta-analysis.

INTRODUCTION: Left bundle branch area pacing (LBBP) is a novel conduction system pacing method to achieve effective physiological pacing and an alternative to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) with biventricular pacing (BVP) for patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). We conduted this meta-analysis and systemic review to review current data comparing BVP and LBBP in patients with HFrEF and indications for CRT.

METHODS: We searched PubMed/Medline, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library from the inception of the database to November 2022. All studies that compared LBBP with BVP in patients with HFrEF and indications for CRT were included. Two reviewers performed study selection, data abstraction, and risk of bias assessment. We calculated risk ratios (RRs) with the Mantel-Haenszel method and mean difference (MD) with inverse variance using random effect models. We assessed heterogeneity using the I2 index, with I2  > 50% indicating significant heterogeneity.

RESULTS: Ten studies (9 observational studies and 1 randomized controlled trial; 616 patients; 15 centers) published between 2020 and 2022 were included. We observed a shorter fluoroscopy time (MD: 9.68, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.49-14.87, I2  = 95%, p < .01, minutes) as well as a shorter procedural time (MD 33.68, 95% CI: 17.80-49.55, I2  = 73%, p < .01, minutes) during the implantation of LBBP CRT compared to conventional BVP CRT. LBBP was shown to have a greater reduction in QRS duration (MD 25.13, 95% CI: 20.06-30.20, I2  = 51%, p < .01, milliseconds), a greater left ventricular ejection fraction improvement (MD: 5.80, 95% CI: 4.81-6.78, I2  = 0%, p < .01, percentage), and a greater left ventricular end-diastolic diameter reduction (MD: 2.11, 95% CI: 0.12-4.10, I2  = 18%, p = .04, millimeter). There was a greater improvement in New York Heart Association function class with LBBP (MD: 0.37, 95% CI: 0.05-0.68, I2  = 61%, p = .02). LBBP was also associated with a lower risk of a composite of heart failure hospitalizations (HFH) and all-cause mortality (RR: 0.48, 95% CI: 0.25-0.90, I2  = 0%, p = .02) driven by reduced HFH (RR: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.19-0.82, I2  = 0%, p = .01). However, all-cause mortality rates were low in both groups (1.52% vs. 1.13%) and similar (RR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.21-4.68, I2  = 0%, p = .87).

CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis of primarily nonrandomized studies suggests that LBBP is associated with a greater improvement in left ventricular systolic function and a lower rate of HFH compared to BVP. There was uniformity of these findings in all of the included studies. However, it would be premature to conclude based solely on the current meta-analysis alone, given the limitations stated. Dedicated, well-designed, randomized controlled trials and observational studies are needed to elucidate better the comparative long-term efficacy and safety of LBBP CRT versus BIV CRT.

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