Mixed cohorts of patients with ischemic and nonischemic end-stage heart failure (HF) with a QRS duration of <120 ms and requiring intravenous inotropes do not appear to benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). However, CRT does provide greater benefit to patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy and might, therefore, be able to reverse the HF syndrome in such patients who are inotrope dependent. To address this question, 226 patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy who received a CRT-defibrillator and who had a left ventricular ejection fraction of ≤35% and QRS of <120 ms were followed up for the outcomes of death, transplantation, and ventricular assist device placement. Follow-up echocardiograms were performed in patients with <6 months of transplant- and ventricular assist device-free survival after CRT. The patients were divided into 3 groups: (1) never took inotropes (n = 180), (2) weaned from inotropes before CRT (n = 30), and (3) dependent on inotropes at CRT implantation (n = 16). At 47 ± 30 months of follow-up, the patients who had never taken inotropes had had the longest transplant- and ventricular assist device-free survival. The inotrope-dependent patients had the worst outcomes, and the patients weaned from inotropes experienced intermediate outcomes (p <0.0001). Reverse remodeling and left ventricular ejection fraction improvement followed a similar pattern. Among the patients weaned from and dependent on inotropes, a central venous pressure <10 mm Hg on right heart catheterization before CRT was predictive of greater left ventricular functional improvement, more profound reverse remodeling, and longer survival free of transplantation or ventricular assist device placement. In conclusion, inotrope therapy before CRT is an important marker of adverse outcomes after implantation in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy, with inotrope dependence denoting irreversible end-stage HF unresponsive to CRT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine