Vol 23, No 1 (2016)
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Published online: 2015-10-21

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A randomized comparison of 5 versus 12 hours per day of cardiac contractility modulation treatment for heart failure patients: A preliminary report

Axel Kloppe, Dejan Mijic, Fabian Schiedat, Harilaos Bogossian, Andreas Mügge, Benny Rousso, Bernd Lemke
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.a2015.0073
Pubmed: 26503077
Cardiol J 2016;23(1):114-119.


Background: Cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) signals are non-excitatory electrical signals delivered during the absolute refractory period intended to improve contraction and cardiac function. Clinical trials have shown that CCM treatment significantly improves exercise tolerance and quality of life in symptomatic heart failure patients. Studies with CCM therapy typically include CCM delivery for 3, 5 or 7 h per day, although other configurations are also commonly used. Each has been associated with improved outcomes in heart failure, but it is not clear whether different application durations are associated with the various degrees of benefit. The purpose of the current pilot evaluation study was to evaluate the quality of life, exercise tolerance, and cardiac function, over a 6-month period when CCM was delivered for 5 h/day vs. 12 h/day. Increasing the daily CCM therapy duration is safe and as good as the standard CCM periods of application per day.

Methods: This single center pilot evaluation study involved 19 medically refractory symptomatic patients with heart failure and reduced left ventricular function who underwent implantation of an Optimizer™ system (Impulse Dynamics, Orangeburg, NY, USA). Patients were randomized into one of two treatment groups; 5 h/day CCM treatment or 12 h/day CCM treatment. Subjects and evaluating physicians were blinded to the study group. Subjects returned to the hospital after 12 and 24 weeks. Efficacy evaluations included changes from baseline to 24 weeks in Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire score (MLWHFQ), maximal oxygen consumption in the cardio-pulmonary stress test (peak VO2), New York Heart Association classification (NYHA), 6-min walk distance (6MWD), and ejection fraction (EF).

Results: At the end of 24 weeks, clinical improvement was observed in the entire cohort in all efficacy measures (mean change from baseline of –17.1 in MLWHFQ, –0.86 in NYHA, and improvement trend of 1.48 mL O2/kg/min in peak VO2, 31.3 m in 6MWD, and 2.25% in EF). There were no significant differences, either clinically or statistically, between the groups receiving CCM for 5 h/day vs. 12 h/day. Three subjects were voluntarily withdrawn before completing the study. One subject died from pneumonia after 125 days, and 6 serious adverse events were reported, none of which was classified as related to either the device or the procedure.

Conclusions: Together with previously reported experience with CCM, delivery of CCM therapy is equally safe and appears similarly effective over the range of shorter (5 h) to longer (12 h) daily periods of application. Given the small sample size, further studies are warranted.  

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