Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the determinants of mortality in a large group of patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy who are treated medically and the impact of the extent of viable tissue on prognosis.
Background: Whether the presence of viability drives mortality in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy who are treated medically and whether the extent of viability is important are issues that are currently unclear.
Methods: Two hundred sixty-one patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy underwent positron emission tomography (PET) for assessment of viability. Prospective follow-up was obtained.
Results: Ninety-four patients were revascularized and 167 were not. The cardiac death rate was significantly less in the revascularized patients as compared with medically treated patients (13% vs. 24%, p < 0.05). In the revascularized patients, there was a trend toward better survival in patients with viable myocardium as compared with nonviable myocardium (3.5-year survival, 85% and 75% respectively, p = NS). In the medically treated group, age (hazard ratio [HR] 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2 to 3.7), presence of left bundle branch block (HR 3.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 7.2) and extent of perfusion-metabolism mismatch on PET (HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.6) predicted cardiac death during a median follow-up period of 2.1 years. The risk of cardiac death was not significantly increased when the extent of mismatch was < or =20% (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.46 to 2.05) but was significantly increased when the extent of mismatch was >20% (HR 3.21, 95% CI 1.38 to 7.49).
Conclusions: Medically treated patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy and large areas of viable myocardium on PET are at high risk for cardiac death.