Background: Heart failure (HF) patients with wide QRS often benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), although QRS narrowing does not always occur. The current study investigates the incidence and predictors for QRS narrowing following CRT and its long-term impact on clinical outcomes. Methods: Among individuals undergoing clinically indicated CRT, pre-and post-implantation electrocardiographs were meticulously analyzed for QRS duration change. All-cause mortality and the composite of mortality and HF hospitalizations were retrieved. Results: For 104 patients, mean age 67 years, 25% females, QRS narrowed within days by 20.2 ± 24.7 ms. In 55/104 (53%) QRS narrowed by ≥20 ms (“acute narrowing”). Female gender and baseline QRS predicted acute narrowing. Acute narrowing persisted for 1–6 weeks in 18/20 (90%) and 3–12 months in 21/31 (68%) of patients. During the average follow-up of 41 months, 29/104 (28%) died and 50/104 (48%) met the composite outcome. In a multivariable analysis including comorbidities and cardiac history, prolonged baseline PR interval (HR 1.015, CI 1.008–1.021, p < 0.001) and acute narrowing < 20 ms (HR 3.243, CI 1.593–6.603, p = 0.001) were significant and independent predictors for the composite outcome. Conclusions: Post-CRT acute QRS narrowing ≥ 20 ms is independently associated with favorable long-term outcomes and might be considered as a novel measure for procedural success.
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy
- QRS duration
- QRS narrowing