Ruwald, Anne Christine1; Gang, Uffe2; Thomsen, Poul Erik Bloch1; Jørgensen, Rikke Mørch2; Ruwald, Martin H2; Huikuri, Heikki V3; Jons, Christian2
1 Department of Cardiology, Gentofte University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark2 Cardiology, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, The Capital Region of Denmark3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown substantially increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients. However it remains difficult to identify the patients who are at highest risk of arrhythmias in the post-MI setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate if CHADS₂ score (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75 years, diabetes and previous stroke/TCI [doubled]) can be used as a risk tool for predicting cardiac arrhythmias after MI. METHODS: The study included 297 post-MI patients from the CARISMA study with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤40%. All patients were implanted with an implantable cardiac monitor (ICM) within 5 to 21 days post-MI and followed every three months for two years. Atrial fibrillation, bradyarrhythmias and ventricular tachycardias were diagnosed using the ICM, pacemaker or ICD. Patients were stratified according to CHADS₂ score at enrollment. Congestive heart failure was defined as LVEF ≤40% and NYHA class II, III or IV. RESULTS: We found significantly increased risk of an arrhythmic event with increasing CHADS₂ score (CHADS₂ score=1-2: HR=2.1 [1.1-3.9], p=0.021, CHADS₂ score ≥ 3: HR=3.7 [1.9-7.1], p<0.001). This pattern was identical when dividing the arrhythmias into subgroups of atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardias and bradyarrhythmias. CHADS₂ score was similarly associated with the development of major cardiovascular events defined as reinfarction, stroke, and hospitalization for heart failure or cardiovascular death. CONCLUSION: In the post-MI setting, CHADS₂ score efficiently identifies populations at high risk for cardiac arrhythmias.
International Journal of Cardiology, 2014, Vol 173, Issue 3, p. 441-6