AIMS: Previous studies on biventricular (BIV) pacing and cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) efficacy have used arbitrarily chosen BIV pacing percentages, and no study has employed implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients as a control group. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using Kaplan-Meier plots, we estimated the threshold of BIV pacing percentage needed for CRT-D to be superior to ICD on the end-point of heart failure (HF) or death in 1219 left bundle branch block (LBBB) patients in the MADIT-CRT trial. Patients were censored at the time of crossover. In multivariable Cox analyses, no difference was seen in the risk of HF/death between ICD and CRT-D patients with BIV pacing ≤90% [HR = 0.78 (0.47-1.30), P = 0.344], and with increasing BIV pacing the risk of HF/death was decreased [CRT-D BIV 91-96% vs. ICD: HR = 0.63 (0.42-0.94), P = 0.024 and CRT-D BIV ≥97% vs. ICD: HR = 0.32 (0.23-0.44), P < 0.001]. The risk of death alone was reduced by 52% in CRT-D patients with BIV ≥97% (HR = 0.48, P < 0.016), when compared with ICD patients. Within the CRT-D group, for every 1 percentage point increase in BIV pacing, the risk of HF/death and death alone significantly decreased by 6 and 10%, respectively. Increasing BIV pacing percentage was associated with significant reductions in left ventricular volume. CONCLUSION: In patients with LBBB, who were in sinus rhythm at enrolment, BIV pacing exceeding 90% was associated with a benefit of CRT-D in HF/death when compared with ICD patients. Furthermore, BIV pacing ≥97% was associated with an even further reduction in HF/death, a significant 52% reduction in death alone, and increased reverse remodelling. Clinical trials.gov identifier: NCT00180271.
European Heart Journal, 2015, Vol 36, Issue 7, p. 440-8