Background: The predictive value of T-wave alternans (TWA) for lethal ventricular tachyarrhythmia in patients with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is controversial. Also, long-term arrhythmia risk of patients ineligible for the TWA test is unknown. Methods: This was a multicenter, prospective observational study of patients with LV ejection fraction ≤40% due to ischemic or non-ischemic cardiomyopathies, designed to evaluate the prognostic value of TWA for lethal ventricular tachyarrhythmia. The primary end point was a composite of sudden cardiac death, sustained rapid ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF), and appropriate defibrillator therapy for rapid VT or VF. Results: Among 453 patients enrolled in the study, 280 (62%) were eligible for the TWA test. TWA was negative in 82 patients (29%), who accounted for 18% of the total population. The median of follow-up was 36 months. The 3-year event-free rate for the primary end point was significantly higher in TWA-negative patients (97.0%) than in TWA non-negative patients (89.5%, P = 0.037) and those ineligible for the TWA test (84.4%, P = 0.003). Multivariable analysis identified both non-negative TWA [hazard ratio (HR) 4.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-19.2; P = 0.047) and ineligibility for the TWA test (HR 6.89; 95% CI 1.59-29.9; P = 0.010) to be independent predictors of the primary end point. Conclusions: TWA showed high negative predictive ability for lethal ventricular tachyarrhythmia in patients with LV dysfunction, although the TWA-negative patients accounted for only 18% of the entire population. Those ineligible for the TWA test had the highest risk for lethal ventricular tachyarrhythmia.
- Sudden death
- T-wave alternans
- Ventricular arrhythmia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine