BACKGROUND: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) improves symptoms, health-related quality of life and long-term survival in patients with systolic heart failure (HF) and shortens QRS duration. However, up to one third of patients attain no measurable clinical benefit from CRT. An important determinant of clinical response is optimal choice in left ventricular (LV) pacing site. Observational data have shown that achieving an LV lead position at a site of late electrical activation is associated with better clinical and echocardiographic outcomes compared to standard placement, but mapping-guided LV lead placement towards the site of latest electrical activation has never been investigated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of targeted positioning of the LV lead towards the latest electrically activated area. We hypothesize that this strategy is superior to standard LV lead placement.
METHODS: The DANISH-CRT trial is a national, double-blinded RCT (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03280862). A total of 1000 patients referred for a de novo CRT implantation or an upgrade to CRT from right ventricular pacing will be randomized 1:1 to receive conventional LV lead positioning preferably in a non-apical posterolateral branch of the coronary sinus (CS) (control group) or targeted positioning of the LV lead to the CS branch with the latest local electrical LV activation (intervention group). In the intervention group, late activation will be determined using electrical mapping of the CS. The primary endpoint is a composite of death and non-planned HF hospitalization. Patients are followed for a minimum of two years and until 264 primary endpoints occurred. Analyses will be conducted according to the intention-to-treat principle. Enrollment for this trial began in March 2018, and per April 2023, a total of 823 patients have been included. Enrollment is expected to be complete by mid-2024.
CONCLUSIONS: The DANISH-CRT trial will clarify whether mapping-guided positioning of the LV lead according to the latest local electrical activation in the CS is beneficial for patients in terms of reducing the composite endpoint of death or non-planned hospitalization for heart failure. Results from this trial are expected to impact future guidelines on CRT.