Myocardial Scar But Not Ischemia Is Associated With Defibrillator Shocks and Sudden Cardiac Death in Stable Patients With Reduced Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction

Academic Article


  • Objectives: This study sought to investigate the association of myocardial scar and ischemia with major arrhythmic events (MAEs) in patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤35%. Background: Although myocardial scar is a known substrate for ventricular arrhythmias, the association of myocardial ischemia with ventricular arrhythmias in stable patients with left ventricular dysfunction is less clear. Methods: A total of 439 consecutive patients (median age, 70 years; 78% male; 55% with implantable cardioverter defibrillator [ICD]) referred for stress/rest positron emission tomography (PET) and resting LVEF ≤35% were included. Primary outcome was time-to-first MAE defined as sudden cardiac death, resuscitated sudden cardiac death, or appropriate ICD shocks for ventricular tachyarrhythmias ascertained by blinded adjudication of hospital records, Social Security Administration's Death Masterfile, National Death Index, and ICD vendor databases. Results: Ninety-one MAEs including 20 sudden cardiac deaths occurred in 75 (17%) patients during a median follow-up of 3.2 years. Transmural myocardial scar was strongly associated with MAEs beyond age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors, beta-blocker therapy, and resting LVEF (adjusted hazard ratio per 10% increase in scar, 1.48 [95% confidence interval: 1.22 to 1.80]; p < 0.001). However, non transmural scar/hibernation or markers of myocardial ischemia on PET including global or peri-infarct ischemia, coronary flow reserve, and resting or hyperemic myocardial blood flows were not associated with MAEs in univariable or multivariable analysis. These findings remained robust in subgroup analyses of patients with ICD (n = 223), with ischemic cardiomyopathy (n = 287), and in patients without revascularization after the PET scan (n = 365). Conclusions: Myocardial scar but not ischemia was associated with appropriate ICD shocks and sudden cardiac death in patients with LVEF ≤35%. These findings have implications for risk-stratification of patients with left ventricular dysfunction who may benefit from ICD therapy.
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    Author List

  • Gupta A; Harrington M; Albert CM; Bajaj NS; Hainer J; Morgan V; Bibbo CF; Bravo PE; Osborne MT; Dorbala S
  • Start Page

  • 1200
  • End Page

  • 1210
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 9