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Original research
Body composition in heart failure and the impact of cardiac resynchronisation therapy: a proof-of-concept study
  1. Christopher J McAloon1,2,
  2. Samantha Hyndman1,
  3. Valerie Ansell1,
  4. Paul O'Hare2,
  5. Harpal Randeva2 and
  6. Faizel Osman1,2
  1. 1Cardiology, University Hospital Coventry, Coventry, UK
  2. 2University of Warwick Warwick Medical School, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Faizel Osman; faizel.osman{at}


Aims Body composition (BC) is known to alter in heart failure. Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) improves left ventricular geometry but the impact on BC is unknown. Our aim was to evaluate BC in these patients before and after CRT implantation.

Methods Prospective proof-of-concept pilot study of heart failure patients undergoing CRT between September 2014 and December 2015. Assessments performed pre-CRT and post-CRT (6 weeks and 6 months) were: BC parameters (using air-displacement plethysmography), New York Heart Failure classification for assessing symptom severity, echocardiography to assess left ventricular geometry, electrocardiography, Minnesota Heart Failure Questionnaire and N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP). Repeated measures analysis of variance was performed to assess relative change over time and potential correlations.

Results Twenty-five patients were recruited; mean-age (±SD) was 73.4±10.0 years, 23 males, 18 CRT defibrillators (remainder CRT pacemakers), 16 had ischaemic aetiology, 6 diabetics, 17 with left bundle-branch morphology on ECG and 10 had atrial fibrillation. Significant inverse correlations were observed in the first 6 weeks following CRT between fat mass and left ventricular end-diastolic volume (r=−0.69, p<0.01) and NT-pro-BNP and fat mass (r=0.41, p=0.05). No significant differences were noted over 6 months. There was an observed trend towards reduced fat mass in the first 6 weeks post-CRT implant driven by non-responders. There was no significant difference between responders and non-responders in BC over 6 months.

Conclusion This is the first study to observe interplay between BC and cardiac geometry/function following CRT; a trend in overall fat mass reduction was noted following CRT and merits further study.

  • heart failure
  • body composition
  • cardiac resynchronisation therapy

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the planning, conduct and reporting of the work described in the article. FO is responsible for the overall content as guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. All data are published in the paper.

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