Improvement of left ventricular function with surgical revascularization in patients eligible for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

Selçuk Adabag, Selma Carlson, Amy Gravely, Melissa Buelt-Gebhardt, Mohammad Madjid, Niyada Naksuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) ≤ 35% is the cornerstone criterion for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) eligibility. Improvement in EF may occur in ICD-eligible patients after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). However, the incidence, predictors, and outcomes of this process are unclear. Methods and Results: We studied 427 patients with EF ≤ 35% who underwent CABG in the Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure (STICH) trial and had a systematic pre- and postoperative (4 months) EF assessment using the identical cardiac imaging modality. All imaging studies were interpreted at a core laboratory. Improvement in EF was defined as postoperative EF > 35% and >5% absolute improvement from baseline. Of the 427 patients (mean age 61.8 ± 9.5 and 50 women), 125 (29.2%) had EF improvement. Their mean EF increased from 26.8% (±5.8%) to 43.3% (±6.5%) (p <.0001). EF improvement occurred in only 20% of patients with a preoperative EF < 25%. The odds of EF improvement were 1.96 times higher (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.91–4.23, p =.09) in patients with myocardial viability. In adjusted analyses, EF improvement was associated with a significantly lower risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.35–0.96; p =.03) and heart failure mortality (HR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.11–0.87; p =.027). Conclusion: Nearly 1/3rd of ICD-eligible patients undergoing CABG had significant improvement in EF, obviating the need for primary prevention ICD implantation. These results provide patients and clinicians data on the likelihood of ICD eligibility after CABG and support the practice of reassessment of EF after revascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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