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To compare conventional treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) with two experimental interventions: amiodarone and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).
Congestive heart failure is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, and sudden arrhythmic death is the cause of death in from 30 to 50 percent of those who die. The study addresses the problem and tests two interventions that have promise of benefit. To date, many of the therapies that have been tested for congestive heart failure have either been ineffective or actually decreased survival. Conventional therapy is still relatively ineffective in that recent studies such as the Congestive Heart Failure - Survival Trial of Antiarrhythmic Therapy (CHF-STAT) have demonstrated a mortality of 40 percent during two-and-half years of follow-up. The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator appears to be effective in patients who are resuscitated from cardiac arrest, but until recently, the devices required a thoracotomy and had to be reserved for patients with the highest risk for sudden death. The newer transvenous devices with pectoral patches can now be considered for broader applications. Although there have been mixed results with amiodarone in patients with congestive heart failure, there is a general consensus that it could be effective in the proper subset of patients with congestive heart failure. A comparison of the optimal device and drug is appropriate for such a high risk population.
Three-armed, randomized, multicenter trial conducted at over 125 North American, Australian and New Zealand sites. Patients were enrolled over 2.5 years after being randomly assigned to amiodarone, matched placebo or an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD). Median follow-up was 45.5 months. All three arms used conventional therapy for heart failure and coronary artery disease (ACE inhibitors, lipid lowering and beta-blockers). The central hypothesis was that amiodarone or the ICD would improve survival compared to placebo. The primary outcome was the prevention of all-cause mortality. Secondary outcome measures included cardiac mortality and arrhythmic mortality, morbidity, quality of life, and incremental cost-effectiveness of the interventions. .
Allocation: Randomized, Primary Purpose: Treatment
amiodarone, defibrillators, implantable
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T04:00:03-0400
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Implantable devices which continuously monitor the electrical activity of the heart and automatically detect and terminate ventricular tachycardia (TACHYCARDIA, VENTRICULAR) and VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION. They consist of an impulse generator, batteries, and electrodes.
A potent anti-arrhythmia agent, effective in a wide range of ventricular and atrial arrhythmias and tachycardias. Paradoxically, however, in myocardial infarct patients with either symptomatic or asymptomatic arrhythmia, flecainide exacerbates the arrhythmia and is not recommended for use in these patients.
Cardiac electrical stimulators that apply brief high-voltage electroshocks to the HEART. These stimulators are used to restore normal rhythm and contractile function in hearts of patients who are experiencing VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION or ventricular tachycardia (TACHYCARDIA, VENTRICULAR) that is not accompanied by a palpable PULSE. Some defibrillators may also be used to correct certain noncritical dysrhythmias (called synchronized defibrillation or CARDIOVERSION), using relatively low-level discharges synchronized to the patient's ECG waveform. (UMDNS, 2003)
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