Objectives: The purpose of this multicenter randomized trial was to compare total mortality during therapy with amiodarone or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM) and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT).
Background: Whether an ICD reduces mortality more than amiodarone in patients with NIDCM and NSVT is unknown.
Methods: One hundred three patients with NIDCM, left ventricular ejection fraction < or =0.35, and asymptomatic NSVT were randomized to receive either amiodarone or an ICD. The primary end point was total mortality. Secondary end points included arrhythmia-free survival, quality of life, and costs.
Results: The study was stopped when the prospective stopping rule for futility was reached. The percent of patients surviving at one year (90% vs. 96%) and three years (88% vs. 87%) in the amiodarone and ICD groups, respectively, were not statistically different (p = 0.8). Quality of life was also similar with each therapy (p = NS). There was a trend with amiodarone, as compared to the ICD, towards improved arrhythmia-free survival (p = 0.1) and lower costs during the first year of therapy ($8,879 US dollars vs. $22,039 US dollars, p = 0.1).
Conclusions: Mortality and quality of life in patients with NIDCM and NSVT treated with amiodarone or an ICD are not statistically different. There is a trend towards a more beneficial cost profile and improved arrhythmia-free survival with amiodarone therapy.