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Role of resynchronisation therapy and implantable cardioverter defibrillators in heart failure
  1. S Ellery,
  2. L Williams,
  3. M Frenneaux
  1. Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L Williams
 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; L.K.Williams{at}


The worldwide prevalence of heart failure is increasing in part because of an aging population. In the developed world, heart failure affects 1%–2% of the general population, accounting for 5% of adult hospital admissions. There is now convincing evidence supporting the beneficial effects of cardiac resynchronisation therapy for the treatment of heart failure. Numerous observational studies, as well as a series of randomised controlled trials, have shown the safety, efficacy, and long term benefits for patients with chronic systolic heart failure who have broad QRS complexes and refractory symptoms despite optimal medical therapy. These studies have consistently found statistically significant improvements in quality of life, New York Heart Association functional class, exercise tolerance, and left ventricular reverse remodelling. Recent evidence suggests that the benefit may at least in part be because of a reduction in mechanical dysynchrony.

  • NYHA, New York Heart Association
  • LBBB, left bundle branch block
  • CRT, cardiac resynchronisation therapy
  • ICD, implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • TDI, tissue Doppler imaging
  • TSI, tissue synchronisation imaging
  • LYG, life year gained
  • heart failure
  • cardiac resynchronisation therapy
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.