Aetiology of Heart Failure, Rather than Sex, Determines Reverse LV Remodelling Response to CRT

F. Said, J.M. ter Maaten, P. Martens, K. Vernooy, M. Meine, C.P. Allaart, B. Geelhoed, M.A. Vos, M.J. Cramer, I.C. van Gelder, W. Mullens, M. Rienstra, A.H. Maass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is an established therapy for patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Women appear to respond differently to CRT, yet it remains unclear whether this is inherent to the female sex itself, or due to other patient characteristics. In this study, we aimed to investigate sex differences in response to CRT. Methods: This is a post-hoc analysis of a prospective, multicenter study (MARC) in the Netherlands, studying HFrEF patients with an indication for CRT according to the guidelines (n = 240). Primary outcome measures are left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and left ventricular end systolic volume (LVESV) at 6 months follow-up. Results were validated in an independent retrospective Belgian cohort (n = 818). Results: In the MARC cohort 39% were women, and in the Belgian cohort 32% were women. In the MARC cohort, 70% of the women were responders (defined as >15% decrease in LVESV) at 6 months, compared to 55% of men (p = 0.040) (79% vs. 67% in the Belgian cohort, p = 0.002). Women showed a greater decrease in LVESV %, LVESV indexed to body surface area (BSA) %, and increase in LVEF (all p < 0.05). In regression analysis, after adjustment for BSA and etiology, female sex was no longer associated with change in LVESV % and LVESV indexed to BSA % and LVEF % (p > 0.05 for all). Results were comparable in the Belgian cohort. Conclusions: Women showed a greater echocardiographic response to CRT at 6 months follow-up. However, after adjustment for BSA and ischemic etiology, no differences were found in LV-function measures or survival, suggesting that non-ischemic etiology is responsible for greater response rates in women treated with CRT.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5513
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • heart failure
  • sex differences


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