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Effect of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in patients with non-ischaemic systolic heart failure and concurrent coronary atherosclerosis

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AIMS: Prophylactic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) reduce mortality in patients with ischaemic heart failure (HF), whereas the effect of ICD in patients with non-ischaemic HF is less clear. We aimed to investigate the association between concomitant coronary atherosclerosis and mortality in patients with non-ischaemic HF and the effect of ICD implantation in these patients.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients were included from DANISH (Danish Study to Assess the Efficacy of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in Patients with Non-Ischaemic Systolic Heart Failure on Mortality), randomizing patients to ICD or control. Study inclusion criteria for HF were left ventricular ejection fraction ≤ 35% and increased levels (>200 pg/mL) of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. Of the 1116 patients from DANISH, 838 (75%) patients had available data from coronary angiogram and were included in this subgroup analysis. We used Cox regression to assess the relationship between coronary atherosclerosis and mortality and the effect of ICD implantation. Of the included patients, 266 (32%) had coronary atherosclerosis. Of these, 216 (81%) had atherosclerosis without significant stenoses, and 50 (19%) had significant stenosis. Patients with atherosclerosis were significantly older {67 [interquartile range (IQR) 61-73] vs. 61 [IQR 54-68] years; P < 0.0001}, and more were men (77% vs. 70%; P = 0.03). During a median follow-up of 64.3 months (IQR 47-82), 174 (21%) of the patients died. The effect of ICD on all-cause mortality was not modified by coronary atherosclerosis [hazard ratio (HR) 0.94; 0.58-1.52; P = 0.79 vs. HR 0.82; 0.56-1.20; P = 0.30], P for interaction = 0.67. In univariable analysis, coronary atherosclerosis was a significant predictor of all-cause mortality [HR, 1.41; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.04-1.91; P = 0.03]. However, this association disappeared when adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors (age, gender, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and estimated glomerular filtration rate) (HR 1.05, 0.76-1.45, P = 0.76).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with non-ischaemic systolic heart failure, ICD implantation did not reduce all-cause mortality in patients either with or without concomitant coronary atherosclerosis. The concomitant presence of coronary atherosclerosis was associated with increased mortality. However, this association was explained by other risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalESC Heart Failure
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1287-1293
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. ESC Heart Failure published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society of Cardiology.

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