Effect of echocardiography-guided left ventricular lead placement for cardiac resynchronization therapy on mortality and risk of defibrillator therapy for ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure patients (from the Speckle Tracking Assisted Resynchronization Therapy for Electrode Region [STARTER] trial)

Am J Cardiol. 2014 May 1;113(9):1518-22. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2014.01.431. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


Echocardiography-guided left ventricular (LV) lead placement at the site of latest mechanical activation improves heart failure outcomes in patients receiving a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D). In this study, we test the hypothesis that a strategy of echocardiography-guided LV lead placement improves patient survival rate free from appropriate CRT-D therapy for ventricular arrhythmias. Patients enrolled in the prospective, randomized Speckle Tracking Assisted Resynchronization Therapy for Electrode Region trial and treated with a CRT-D device (108 with the echo-guided strategy and 75 with the routine strategy) were followed to the end point of death or first appropriate CRT-D therapy. Over a follow-up period of 3.7 ± 2.1 years, 62 patients (33%) died and 40 (22%) received appropriate CRT-D therapy. Compared with the routine group, patients in the echo-guided group had improved CRT-D therapy-free survival rate (hazard ratio = 0.64, 95% confidence interval = 0.42 to 0.98, p = 0.038). Patients randomized to the echo-guided LV lead placement were more likely to resynchronize their LV compared with the routine group (72% vs 48%, respectively, p = 0.006). Patients whose LV did resynchronize after CRT-D had improved therapy-free survival rate compared with those whose LV did not resynchronize (hazard ratio = 0.49, 95% confidence interval = 0.28 to 0.86, p = 0.012). In conclusion, a strategy of echo-guided LV lead placement improved the patient survival rate free from defibrillator therapy in CRT-D recipients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy*
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy / methods*
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy / mortality
  • Defibrillators / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Echocardiography*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies