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Aims: We examined the relationship between different degrees of QRS prolongation and different QRS morphologies and clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure, reduced ejection fraction (HF-REF), and mild symptoms in the Eplerenone in Mild Patients Hospitalization and SurvIval Study in Heart Failure trial (EMPHASIS-HF). We also evaluated the effect of eplerenone in these patients according to QRS duration/morphology. Methods and results: Patients were categorized as: QRS duration (ms) (i) < 120 (n = 1375); (ii) 120–149 (n = 517); and (iii) ≥150 (n = 383), and QRS morphology (i) normal (n = 1252); (ii) left bundle branch block (BBB) (n = 608); and (iii) right BBB/intraventricular conduction defect (IVCD) (n = 415). The outcomes examined were the composite of cardiovascular death or heart failure hospitalization and all-cause mortality. Both abnormal QRS duration and QRS morphology were associated with higher risk, e.g. the rates of the composite outcome were: 10.2, 17.6, and 15.5 per 100 patient-years in the < 120, 120–149, and ≥150 ms groups, respectively. Eplerenone reduced the risk of the primary outcome and mortality, compared with placebo, consistently across the QRS duration/morphology subgroups. Conclusion: We found that even moderate prolongation of QRS duration and right BBB/IVCD were associated with a high risk of adverse outcomes in HF-REF. Eplerenone was similarly effective, irrespective of QRS duration/morphology.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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