Heart failure patients with two particular heart abnormalities get more benefits from biventricular pacing, a new study suggests.
In some patients, biventricular pacing helps the heart beat in a more co-ordinated way and reduces symptoms.
Pacemakers and internal defibrillators can both provide biventricular pacing (sometimes called cardiac resynchronisation therapy) through the use of extra leads from the device into the heart.
The two abnormalities that benefit are left bundle branch block (when the heartâ€™s left ventricle contracts later than the right ventricle) and a longer QRS duration (a heart rhythm irregularity seen on an ECG).
Patients with these problems had significantly fewer hospital admissions and better survival than those with these problems and no biventricular device, said Dr Pamela Peterson and colleagues from the Denver Health Medical Centre in America.
The significance of the differences remained after adjustment for demographics and clinical factors, the researchers of the observational study reported in an issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association out this month (August).
The average age of the patients was 75 and most (83%) had moderate heart failure. About two-thirds had left bundle-branch block and 55 per cent had a longer QRS duration..
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