Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has been proven in clinical trials to be a very effective therapy in appropriate patients. However, although the literature has primarily focused on appropriate implanting techniques and inclusion criteria for CRT devices by electrophysiologists, most patients who receive CRT are managed by their primary care providers with the help of general cardiologists and/or heart failure (HF) specialists. As CRT has been more broadly applied over the past decade, the fragmentation and specialization of care in the current health care system have created challenges in optimizing this otherwise invasive but potentially beneficial intervention in the complex HF patient. Furthermore, cost considerations as well as appropriate follow-up care continue to challenge the optimal application of these devices, particularly when evidence to support multidisciplinary approaches is lacking. The challenge begins with identification of appropriate candidates for CRT, which is an evolving concept due to data emerging from new studies with a wide range of inclusion and exclusion criteria coupled with increasing oversight from providers or even logistical hurdles from patients. Postimplant management practices and procedures are still evolving. The important and so-far unresolved concept of the "nonresponder" to CRT remains largely subjective and is variably defined in the literature, and the lack of understanding of the underlying mechanisms of "nonresponse" continues to challenge long-term management of CRT, even given the recent developments in advanced sensor technologies. Therefore, further investigations into HF disease management with a multispecialty approach, pre-CRT and post-CRT, are warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)