Systolic Blood Pressure and Risk for Ventricular Arrhythmia in Patients With an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

Roy Beinart, Ilan Goldenberg, Arwa Younis, Scott McNitt, David Huang, Mehmet K. Aktas, Rosero Spencer, Valentina Kutyifa, Eyal Nof*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low systolic blood pressure (SBP) was previously suggested to be a marker for heart failure and mortality in patients with low left ventricular ejection fraction. We aimed to explore the association of SBP on risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VTA) and atrial arrhythmias as well as appropriate and inappropriate Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) therapy. The study population comprised 1,481 of 1,500 (99%) patients enrolled in the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial – Reduce Inappropriate Therapy trial. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression modeling was used to identify the association of baseline SBP (recorded prior to ICD implantation) with the risk of VTA > 170 beats/min during follow-up (primary end point) and atrial arrhythmia, appropriate and inappropriate ICD therapy, hospitalization and death (secondary end points). SBP was dichotomized at 120 mm Hg (approximate mean and median) and was also assessed as a continuous measure. Multivariate analysis showed that each 10 mm Hg decrement in SBP was associated with corresponding 11% increased risk for VTA (p = 0.008). Low SBP (≤120 mm Hg) was associated with a significant 58% (p = 0.002) increased risk for VTA ≥170 beats/min; 53% (p = 0.019) increased risk for VTA ≥200 beats/min; and 65% (p = 0.001) increased risk for appropriate ICD therapy, as compared with SBP >120 mm Hg. Low SBP was not associated with increased risk of atrial arrhythmias, and inappropriate ICD therapy. In conclusion, in MADIT-RIT, SBP (≤120 mm Hg) predicted higher rates of VTA. These findings suggest that SBP may be utilized for VTA risk stratification in candidates for primary ICD therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2021


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