Impact of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy on Heart Transplant-Free Survival in Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Patients

Chubb H, Rosenthal DN, Almond CS, Ceresnak SR, Motonaga KS, Arunamata AA, Long J, Trela AV, Hanisch D, McElhinney DB, Dubin AM.
Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2020 Apr;13(4):e007925. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.119.007925. Epub 2020 Mar 22.
PMID: 32202126
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Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) studies in pediatric or congenital heart disease patients have shown an improvement in ejection fraction and heart failure symptoms. However, a survival benefit of CRT in this population has not been established. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of CRT upon heart transplant-free survival in pediatric and congenital heart disease patients, using a propensity score-matched (PSM) analysis.

Methods: This single-center study compared CRT patients (implant date, 2004-2017) and controls, matched by 1:1 PSM using 21 comprehensive baseline indices for risk stratification. CRT patients were <21 years of age or had congenital heart disease, had systemic ventricular ejection fraction <45%, symptomatic heart failure, and had significant electrical dyssynchrony, all before CRT implant. Controls were screened from nonselective imaging and ECG databases. Controls were retrospectively enrolled when they achieved the same inclusion criteria at an outpatient clinical encounter, within the same time period.

Results: Of 133 patients who received CRT during the study period, 84 met all study inclusion criteria. One hundred thirty-three controls met all criteria at an outpatient encounter. Following PSM, 63 matched CRT-control pairs were identified with no significant difference between groups across all baseline indices. Heart transplant or death occurred in 12 (19%) PSM-CRT subjects and 37 (59%) PSM-controls with a median follow-up of 2.7 years (quartiles, 0.8-6.1 years). CRT was associated with markedly reduced risk of heart transplant or death (hazard ratio, 0.24 [95% CI, 0.12-0.46]; P<0.001). There was no CRT procedural mortality and 1 system infection at 54 months post-implant.

Conclusions: In pediatric and congenital heart disease patients with symptomatic systolic heart failure and electrical dyssynchrony, CRT was associated with improved heart transplant-free survival. Visual Overview: A visual overview is available for this article.