Epidemiologic studies suggest that 20-30% of patients diagnosed with symptomatic congestive heart failure (CHF) have intraventricular conduction disorders characterized by a discoordinate contraction pattern and wide QRS. Biventricular pacing is an emerging therapy allowing simultaneous electrical stimulation of the right and left ventricles with the use of an implantable pacing system. The aim of this article is to describe 2 prospective randomized multicenter trials examining the effects of biventricular pacing on functional capacity, quality of life, and hemodynamic status in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and intraventricular delay. The VIGOR CHF Trial is designed to assess functional and symptomatic improvement in heart failure patients with biventricular pacing and without a concomitant indication for conventional bradycardia pacemaker therapy. To assess for potential placebo effects, patients are randomized to receive either biventricular pacemaker therapy or no pacing therapy for the first 6 weeks, after which both groups receive pacing therapy. The VENTAK CHF trial uses an implantable cardioverter defibrillator system (ICD) designed to provide chronic biventricular pacing therapy in addition to treating ventricular tachyarrhythmias. All patients receive conventional ICD and CHF therapy throughout the study and are randomized in a 2-period crossover design to receive either no pacing or biventricular pacing for 3-month intervals. Patient enrollment in both studies is ongoing, with a closed analysis. The unique designs of these trials provide the opportunity to study this therapy in high-risk patients who have been optimally treated for heart failure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine