This study sought to analyze the impact of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and Heart Rhythm Society (ACC/AHA/HRS) guidelines for cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) update on utilization and efficacy of CRT-D.
In September 2012, the ACC/AHA/HRS guidelines for CRT-D were modified to include left bundle branch block (LBBB) as a Class I indication.
The IBM Watson MarketScan Database was queried between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2018, for CRT-D implants or upgrades. The primary outcome was heart failure (HF) hospitalization following left ventricular lead implant. Secondary outcomes included all-cause mortality and device-related lead revision.
A total of 27,238 patients were analyzed: 18,384 pre-update and 8,854 post-update. Mean age was 69 ± 11 years, 73% men, and 98% with history of HF hospitalization. The proportion of patients with LBBB increased from 29% to 55% (P < 0.001) after the update. Patients receiving CRT-D post-update demonstrated a greater prevalence of comorbidities, including atrial fibrillation (47% vs 40%; P < 0.001), diabetes mellitus (45% vs 39%; P < 0.001), chronic kidney disease (24% vs 15%; P < 0.001), and HF hospitalization in the year before CRT-D (40% vs 37%; P < 0.001). Despite greater baseline comorbidities, HF hospitalization significantly declined post-update (HR: 0.89; P < 0.001). Multivariate predictors of reduced HF hospitalization included angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor prescription (HR: 0.48; P < 0.001) and presence of LBBB (HR: 0.71; P < 0.001). All-cause mortality was not significantly different between the 2 groups, and fewer lead revisions were noted post-update (0.6% vs 1.7%; P < 0.001).
The revised 2012 guidelines led to an increased proportion of LBBB patients receiving CRT-D at the population-level. This change was associated with reduced HF hospitalization, despite broadening therapy to patients with more comorbid conditions.

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