Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether or not cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has a favourable effect on the incidence of new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) in a homogeneous population of patients with non-ischaemic idiopathic-dilated cardiomyopathy and severe heart failure.
Methods: We designed a single-centre prospective study and enrolled 58 patients AF naïve when received CRT. After 1 year of follow-up our population was subdivided into responders (72.4%) and non-responders (27.6%), so as to compare the incidence of AF after 1, 2 and 3 years of follow-up in these two groups.
Results: Already after 1 year, there was a significant (p < 0.05) difference in new-onset AF in non-responder patients with respect to responders (18.2% vs. 3.3%). These data were confirmed at 2 years (33.3% vs. 12.2%) and 3 years (50.0% vs. 15.0%) follow-up. In particular, 3 years after device implantation non-responders had an increased risk to develop new-onset AF (OR = 5.67).
Conclusions: This is the first study analysing long-term effects of CRT in a homogeneous population of patients with non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy, indicating the favourable role of this non-pharmacological therapy on the prevention of AF.