Patients with mild heart failure can also get good results with a bi-ventricular pacemaker with defibrillation, a new study has shown.
At present patients have to have more severe heart failure - a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of less than 30 per cent - to be eligible for the device.
But a study from America showed that the devices were associated with a 44 per cent reduction in risk of heart failure and death after one year in patients with an LVEF of more than 30 per cent.
Patients with LVEF of 26 to 30 per cent had a 33 per cent reduction in risk, and those with an LVEF less than 26 per cent had a 43 per cent reduction in risk.
The findings suggest that the device benefits patients with mild heart failure and better LVEF, said a report published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr Valentina Kutyifa, University of Rochester in New York, said the study had demonstrated that the clinical benefit of biventricular pacing was present regardless of LVEF, including those with LVEF more than 30 per cent. The echo response directly correlated with increasing LVEF, showing that patients with better baseline LVEF might get benefit from biventricular pacing.
Various studies have shown that biventricular pacing reduces symptoms, hospital admissions, and mortality in patients with moderate or severe heart failure who are not responding to drug treatments.
â€œUse of a specified LVEF cut-off to select patients for biventricular pacing is arbitrary and ignores the fact that patients develop heart failure across a spectrum of LVEF," the study authors pointed out in their introduction.
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