Background: one variable that may influence cardiac resynchronization therapy response is the programmed atrioventricular (AV) delay. The SmartDelay determined av optimization: a comparison to other AV delay methods used in cardiac resynchronization therapy (SMART-AV) trial prospectively randomized patients to a fixed empirical AV delay (120 milliseconds), echocardiographically optimized AV delay, or AV delay optimized with SmartDelay, an electrogram-based algorithm.
Methods and results: a total of 1014 patients (68% men; mean age, 66 ± 11 years; mean left ventricular ejection fraction, 25 ± 7%) who met enrollment criteria received a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator, and 980 patients were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio. All patients were programmed (DDD-60 or DDDR-60) and evaluated after implantation and 3 and 6 months later. The primary end point was left ventricular end-systolic volume. Secondary end points included New York Heart Association class, quality-of-life score, 6-minute walk distance, left ventricular end-diastolic volume, and left ventricular ejection fraction. The medians (quartiles 1 and 3) for change in left ventricular end-systolic volume at 6 months for the SmartDelay, echocardiography, and fixed arms were -21 mL (-45 and 6 mL), -19 mL (-45 and 6 mL), and -15 mL (-41 and 6 mL), respectively. No difference in improvement in left ventricular end-systolic volume at 6 months was observed between the SmartDelay and echocardiography arms (P=0.52) or the SmartDelay and fixed arms (P=0.66). Secondary end points, including structural (left ventricular end-diastolic volume and left ventricular ejection fraction) and functional (6-minute walk, quality of life, and New York Heart Association classification) measures, were not significantly different between arms.
Conclusions: neither SmartDelay nor echocardiography was superior to a fixed AV delay of 120 milliseconds. The routine use of AV optimization techniques assessed in this trial is not warranted. However, these data do not exclude possible utility in selected patients who do not respond to cardiac resynchronization therapy.