Modeling defibrillation benefit for survival among cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator recipients

Kenneth C. Bilchick, Yongfei Wang, Jeptha P. Curtis, Alan Cheng, Kumar Dharmarajan, Ramin Shadman, Todd F. Dardas, Inder Anand, Lars H. Lund, Ulf Dahlström, Ulrik Sartipy, Aldo Maggioni, Christopher O'Connor, Wayne C. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients with heart failure having a low expected probability of arrhythmic death may not benefit from implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Objective: The objective was to validate models to identify cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) candidates who may not require CRT devices with ICD functionality. Methods: Heart failure (HF) patients with CRT-Ds and non-CRT ICDs from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry and others with no device from 3 separate registries and 3 heart failure trials were analyzed using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression for survival with the Seattle Heart Failure Model (SHFM; estimates overall mortality) and the Seattle Proportional Risk Model (SPRM; estimates proportional risk of arrhythmic death). Results: Among 60,185 patients (age 68.6 ± 11.3 years, 31.9% female) meeting CRT-D criteria, 38,348 had CRT-Ds, 11,389 had non-CRT ICDs, and 10,448 had no device. CRT-D patients had a prominent adjusted survival benefit (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.50-0.55, P < .0001 versus no device). CRT-D patients with SHFM-predicted 4-year survival ≥81% (median) and a low SPRM-predicted probability of an arrhythmic mode of death ≤42% (median) had an absolute adjusted risk reduction attributable to ICD functionality of just 0.95%/year with the majority of survival benefit (70%) attributable to CRT pacing. In contrast, CRT-D patients with SHFM-predicted survival <median or SPRM >median had substantially more ICD-attributable benefit (absolute risk reduction of 2.6%/year combined; P < .0001). Conclusions: The SPRM and SHFM identified a quarter of real-world, primary prevention CRT-D patients with minimal benefit from ICD functionality. Further studies to evaluate CRT pacemakers in these low-risk CRT candidates are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican heart journal
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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