Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has become an established therapeutic option for patients with dilated cardiomyopathies and New York Heart Association class III congestive heart failure symptoms who also have a widened QRS complex on their electrocardiograms (generally > 120 ms). Results from a number of clinical trials have shown that CRT improves patients' exercise tolerance, quality of life, and survival. There is further evidence that CRT has structural effects on the heart with improved cardiac function. Despite these salutary results, clinical trials in CRT study prespecified populations that fit the inclusion criteria for these trials. Many patients have been excluded from these clinical trials and yet may potentially benefit from CRT. Evaluation of the effects of CRT on these populations might reveal the potential to expand the use of this therapy in larger numbers of patients to CRT who may not have been included in the clinical trial. This review article will assess the limitations of some of the clinical trials in CRT and will discuss the potential for CRT registries that are presently underway to extend the patient population that may benefit from this therapeutic option.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)