Circulation. 2020 Aug 29. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.050304. Online ahead of print.
Background: It is unknown whether an initial invasive strategy in patients with stable ischemic heart disease and at least moderate ischemia improves outcomes in patients with a history of heart failure (HF) or left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) when EF ≥35%, but <45%. Methods: Among 5179 participants randomized into the International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches (ISCHEMIA), all of whom had LVEF ≥35%, we compared cardiovascular outcomes by treatment strategy in those with a history of HF or LV dysfunction (HF/LVD) at baseline versus those without HF/LVD. Median followup was 3.2 years. Results: There were 398 (7.7%) participants with HF/LVD at baseline of whom 177 had HF/LVEF>45%, 28 had HF/LVEF 35-45% and 193 had LVEF 35-45% but no prior history of HF. HF/LVD was associated with more comorbidities at baseline, particularly prior myocardial infarction (MI), stroke and hypertension. Compared to those without HF/LVD, those with HF/LVD were more likely to experience a primary outcome composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal MI, or hospitalization for unstable angina, HF, or resuscitated cardiac arrest; four-year cumulative incidence rate (22.7% vs. 13.8%), cardiovascular death or MI (19.7% vs. 12.3%), and all-cause death or HF (15.0% vs. 6.9%). Those with HF/LVD randomized to the invasive versus conservative strategy had a lower rate of the primary outcome (17.2% vs. 29.3%, difference in 4-year event rate -12.1%; 95% CI: -22.6, -1.6%), whereas those without HF/LVD did not (13.0% vs. 14.6%, difference in 4-year event rate -1.6%; 95% CI: -3.8%, 0.7%; p-interaction = 0.055). A similar differential effect was seen for the primary outcome, all-cause mortality, and CV mortality when invasive versus conservative strategy associated outcomes were analyzed with LVEF as a continuous variable for those with and without prior HF. Conclusions: ISCHEMIA trial participants with stable ischemic heart disease and at least moderate ischemia with a history of HF or LVD were at increased risk for the primary outcome. In the small, high-risk subgroup with HF and LVEF 35-45%, an initial invasive approach was associated with a better event-free survival. This result should be considered hypothesis generating. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov Unique Identifier: NCT01471522.