Context: Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy with backup ventricular pacing increases survival in patients with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Most currently implanted ICD devices provide dual-chamber pacing therapy. The most common comorbid cause for mortality in this population is congestive heart failure.
Objective: To determine the efficacy of dual-chamber pacing compared with backup ventricular pacing in patients with standard indications for ICD implantation but without indications for antibradycardia pacing.
Design: The Dual Chamber and VVI Implantable Defibrillator (DAVID) Trial, a single-blind, parallel-group, randomized clinical trial.
Setting and participants: A total of 506 patients with indications for ICD therapy were enrolled between October 2000 and September 2002 at 37 US centers. All patients had a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 40% or less, no indication for antibradycardia pacemaker therapy, and no persistent atrial arrhythmias.
Interventions: All patients had an ICD with dual-chamber, rate-responsive pacing capability implanted. Patients were randomly assigned to have the ICDs programmed to ventricular backup pacing at 40/min (VVI-40; n = 256) or dual-chamber rate-responsive pacing at 70/min (DDDR-70; n = 250). Maximal tolerated medical therapy for left ventricular dysfunction, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and beta-blockers, was prescribed to all patients.
Main outcome measure: Composite end point of time to death or first hospitalization for congestive heart failure.
Results: One-year survival free of the composite end point was 83.9% for patients treated with VVI-40 compared with 73.3% for patients treated with DDDR-70 (relative hazard, 1.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-2.44). The components of the composite end point, mortality of 6.5% for VVI-40 vs 10.1% for DDDR-70 (relative hazard, 1.61; 95% CI, 0.84-3.09) and hospitalization for congestive heart failure of 13.3% for VVI-40 vs 22.6% for DDDR-70 (relative hazard, 1.54; 95% CI, 0.97-2.46), also trended in favor of VVI-40 programming.
Conclusion: For patients with standard indications for ICD therapy, no indication for cardiac pacing, and an LVEF of 40% or less, dual-chamber pacing offers no clinical advantage over ventricular backup pacing and may be detrimental by increasing the combined end point of death or hospitalization for heart failure.