Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has been demonstrated to improve heart failure (HF) symptoms, reverse LV remodeling, and reduce mortality and HF hospitalization (HFH) in patients with a reduced left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (LVEF). Prior studies examining outcomes based on right ventricular (RV) lead position among CRT patients have provided mixed results. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective observational studies comparing RV apical (RVA) and non-apical (RVNA) lead position in CRT.
Methods: Our meta-analysis was constructed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We searched EMBASE and MEDLINE. Eligible studies reported on at least one of the following outcomes of interest: all-cause mortality, the composite endpoint of death and first HFH hospitalization, change in LVEF, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class improvement, and change in LV end systolic volume (LVESV). We performed meta-analysis summaries using a DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model and conservatively used the Knapp-Hartung approach to adjust the standard errors of the estimated model coefficients.
Results: We included nine studies representing a total of 1832 patients. Of those, 1318 (72%) patients had RVA lead placement and 514 (28%) had RVNA lead placement. The mean age of patients was 65.5 ± 4.4 years, and they were predominantly men (69%-97%). There was no statistically significant difference in all-cause mortality by RVA vs. RVNA (OR = 0.77, 95% CI 0.32-1.89; I2 = 16.7%, p = 0.31), or in the combined endpoint of all-cause mortality and first HFH (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.62-1.25; I2 = 0%, p = 0.84). Also, there was no difference between RVA and RVNA for NYHA class improvement (OR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.9-1.17; I2 = 0%, p = 0.99), change in LVEF (mean difference (MD) = 1.33, 95% CI -1.45 to 4.10; I2 = 47%; p = 0.093), and change in LVESV (MD = -1.11, 95% CI -3.34 to 1.12; I2 = 0%; p = 0.92).
Conclusion: This meta-analysis shows that in CRT pacing, RV lead position does not appear to be associated with clinical outcomes or LV reverse remodeling. Further studies should focus on the relationship of RV lead vis-à-vis LV lead location, and its clinical importance.
Keywords: Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Right lead location.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.