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The benefits of cardiac resynchronisation therapy in heart failure
Date:12/18/2011

However, large-scale clinical trials have highlighted the beneficial effect of cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) in the improvement of symptoms and reduction of mortality, and CRT is now recommended in the major European and American guidelines for the treatment and prevention of heart failure.(1)

Clinical trials, however, are performed in carefully selected subjects and their results are not always applicable to the general population. Large-scale registries or surveys, on the other hand, capture data from a much more heterogeneous population and are closer to everyday clinical practice (although the applicability of the sample may be a concern).

Now, the European CRT Survey, whose follow-up results are published today in the European Journal of Heart Failure, suggests that CRT does indeed reduce rates of death and re-hospitalisation among heart failure patients.(2) Indeed, at one-year follow-up most patients who had received a CRT device considered their symptoms were better than their pre-implant assessment.(3)

The survey - a joint initiative of the Heart Failure Association and European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) - gathered information on more than 2000 patients at 141 centres in 13 European countries. Its aim was to assess the effect of CRT on symptom severity, cardiovascular re-hospitalisation, and survival. The study population included subjects poorly represented in clinical trials but commonly admitted as heart failure patients - including the very elderly, those with atrial fibrillation, and those previously treated with a pacemaker or other cardiac device.

Analysis of the survey data showed that at, one year (average) follow-up, 81% reported a self-assessed improvement in their symptoms (with 16% no change and 4% a deterioration).

The survey also found that almost 25% of the subjects had died or been re-hospitalised within the 12-month follow-up period. This poor outcome (who
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-049-294-8627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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