The impact of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in heart failure (HF) patients is important and prevention of SCD is a reasonable and clinically justified endpoint if associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality. According to literature, in HF with reduced ejection fraction, only three classes of agents were found effective in reducing SCD and all-cause mortality: beta-blockers, mineralcorticoid receptor antagonists and, more recently, angiotensin-receptor neprilysin-inhibitors. In the PARADIGM trial that tested sacubitril/valsartan vs. enalapril, the 20% relative risk reduction in cardiovascular deaths obtained with sacubitril/valsartan was attributable to reductions in the incidence of both SCD and death due to HF worsening and this effect can be added to the known positive effect of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in appropriately selected patients. In order to maximize the implementation of all the available treatments, patients with HF should be included in virtuous networks with a dialogue between all the physician involved, with commitment by all these physicians for appropriate decision-making on application of pharmacological and device treatments according to available evidence, as well as commitment for drug titration before and after device implant, taking advantage from remote monitoring, and with the safety of back up device therapy when indicated. There are potential synergistic effects of drug therapy, with all the therapies acting on neuro-hormonal and sympathetic activation, but specifically with sacubitril/valsartan, and device therapy, in particular cardiac resynchronization therapy, with added incremental benefits on positive cardiac remodelling, prevention of HF progression, and prevention of ventricular tachyarrhythmias.
Sinergy between drugs and devices in the fight against sudden cardiac death and heart failure / Boriani, G.; De Ponti, R.; Guerra, F.; Palmisano, P.; Zanotto, G.; D'Onofrio, A.; Ricci, R. P.. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PREVENTIVE CARDIOLOGY. - ISSN 2047-4873. - 28:1(2021), pp. 110-123. [10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa015]