This study sought to examine whether suppressing premature ventricular contractions (PVC) using radiofrequency ablation improves effectiveness of the cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in nonresponders.
CRT is an effective strategy for drug refractory congestive heart failure. However, one-third of patients with CRT do not respond clinically, and the causes for nonresponse are poorly understood. Whether frequent PVC contribute to CRT nonresponse remains unknown.
In this multicenter study, CRT nonresponders with >10,000 PVC in 24 h who underwent PVC ablation were enrolled from a prospective database.
Sixty-five subjects (age 66.6 ± 12.4 years, 78% men, QRS duration of 155 ± 18 ms) had radiofrequency ablation of PVC from 76 foci. Acute and long-term success rates of ablation were 91% and 88% in 12 ± 4 months of follow-up. There was significant improvement in left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (26.2 ± 5.5% to 32.7 ± 6.7 %, p < 0.001), LV end-systolic diameter (5.93 ± 0.55 cm to 5.62 ± 0.32 cm, p < 0.001), LV end-diastolic diameter (6.83 ± 0.83 cm to 6.51 ± 0.91 cm, p < 0.001), LV end-systolic volume (178 ± 72 to 145 ± 23 ml, p < 0.001), LV end-diastolic volume (242 ± 85 ml to 212 ± 63 ml, p < 0.001), and median New York Heart Association functional class (3.0 to 2.0, p < 0.001). Modeling of pre-ablation PVC burden revealed an improvement in ejection fraction when the pre-ablation PVC burden was >22% in 24 h.
Frequent PVC is an uncommon yet significant cause of CRT nonresponse. Radiofrequency ablation of PVC foci improves LV function and New York Heart Association class and promotes reverse remodeling in CRT nonresponders. PVC ablation may be used to enhance CRT efficacy in nonresponders with significant PVC burden.