Purpose of review
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) reduces morbidity and mortality in patients with mild-to-severe heart failure. However, up to 40% of CRT recipients are nonresponders. This review addresses important aspects with regard to the identification and management of CRT nonresponders.
Mid-term clinical or echocardiographic nonresponse is associated with worse clinical outcomes during the extended follow-up. A number of predictors are indicative of CRT response, which include patient characteristics, electrical determinants, and imaging techniques from preimplant to postimplant period, and can be grouped as modifiable and nonmodifiable contributors to treatment response. Advanced age, male sex, ischemic cause, end-stage heart failure, inadequate electrical delay, and absence of mechanical dyssynchrony are regarded as unfavorable but nonmodifiable factors, for which considering underutilization of CRT by refining patient selection is reasonable. On the contrary, more efforts should be made to optimize patient management by correcting those modifiable factors, such as suboptimal medical therapy, uncontrolled atrial fibrillation, left ventricular lead dislodgement or inappropriate location, loss of biventricular capture, and lack of device optimization.
Proper management and careful selection of CRT recipients will transform a proportion of treatment nonresponders into responders, which is vital to improve patients’ outcome.