QRS Morphology and the Risk of Ventricular Tachyarrhythmia in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Recipients


Internal Medicine

Additional Department


Document Type


Publication Title

JACC. Clinical Electrophysiology


Background: There are conflicting data on the effect of cardiac resynchronization therapy with a defibrillator (CRT-D) on the risk of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmia in heart failure patients.

Objectives: The authors aimed to assess whether QRS morphology is associated with risk of ventricular arrhythmias in CRT recipients.

Methods: The study population comprised 2,862 patients implanted with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)/CRT-D for primary prevention who were enrolled in 5 landmark primary prevention ICD trials (MADIT-II [Multicenter Automated Defibrillator Implantation Trial], MADIT-CRT [Multicenter Automated Defibrillator Implantation Trial-Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy], MADIT-RIT [Multicenter Automated Defibrillator Implantation Trial-Reduction in Inappropriate Therapy], MADIT-RISK [Multicenter Automated Defibrillator Implantation Trial-RISK], and RAID [Ranolazine in High-Risk Patients With Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillators]). Patients with QRS duration ≥ 130 ms were divided into 2 groups: those implanted with an ICD only vs CRT-D. The primary endpoint was fast ventricular tachycardia (VT)/ventricular fibrillation (VF) (defined as VT ≥ 200 beats/min or VF), accounting for the competing risk of death. Secondary endpoints included appropriate shocks, any sustained VT or VF, and the burden of fast VT/VF, assessed in a recurrent event analysis.

Results: Among patients with left bundle branch block (n = 1,792), those with CRT-D (n = 1,112) experienced a significant 44% (P < 0.001) reduction in the risk of fast VT/VF compared with ICD-only patients (n = 680), a significantly lower burden of fast VT/VF (HR: 0.55; P = 0.001), with a reduced burden of appropriate shocks (HR: 0.44; P < 0.001). In contrast, among patients with non-left bundle branch block (NLBBB) (N = 1,070), CRT-D was not associated with reduction in fast VT/VF (HR: 1.33; P = 0.195). Furthermore, NLBBB patients with CRT-D experienced a statistically significant increase in the burden of fast VT/VF events compared with ICD-only patients (HR: 1.90; P = 0.013).

Conclusions: Our data suggest a potential proarrhythmic effect of CRT among patients with NLBBB. These data should be considered in patient selection for treatment with CRT.

First Page


Last Page








Publication Date


Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (adverse effects); Treatment Outcome; Tachycardia, Ventricular; Ventricular Fibrillation (epidemiology, therapy); Defibrillators, Implantable (adverse effects); Arrhythmias, Cardiac (therapy); Bundle-Branch Block (therapy, etiology)

PubMed ID