Effectiveness of drug interventions to prevent sudden cardiac death in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction: an overview of systematic reviews.

TitreEffectiveness of drug interventions to prevent sudden cardiac death in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction: an overview of systematic reviews.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAl-Gobari, M, Al-Aqeel, S, Gueyffier, F, Burnand, B
JournalBMJ Open
Date Published07/2018
Mots-cléscardiac failure, guidelines, Meta-analysis, Sudden death, treatment, umbrella review

OBJECTIVES: To summarise and synthesise the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of drug interventions to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) and all-cause mortality in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

DESIGN: Overview of systematic reviews.

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, Embase, ISI Web of Science and Cochrane Library from inception to May 2017; manual search of references of included studies for potentially relevant reviews.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR STUDY SELECTION: We reviewed the effectiveness of drug interventions for SCD and all-cause mortality prevention in patients with HFrEF. We included overviews, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials of beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-i), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), antialdosterones or mineralocorticoid-receptor antagonists, amiodarone, other antiarrhythmic drugs, combined ARB/neprilysin inhibitors, statins and fish oil supplementation.

REVIEW METHODS: Two independent reviewers extracted data and assessed the methodological quality of the reviews and the quality of evidence for the primary studies for each drug intervention, using Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation(GRADE), respectively.

RESULTS: We identified 41 reviews. Beta-blockers, antialdosterones and combined ARB/neprilysin inhibitors appeared effective to prevent SCD and all-cause mortality. ACE-i significantly reduced all-cause mortality but not SCD events. ARBs and statins were ineffective where antiarrhythmic drugs and omega-3 fatty acids had unclear evidence of effectiveness for prevention of SCD and all-cause mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: This comprehensive overview of systematic reviews confirms that beta-blockers, antialdosterone agents and combined ARB/neprilysin inhibitors are effective on SCD prevention but not ACE-i or ARBs. In patients with high risk of SCD, an alternative therapeutic strategy should be explored in future research.


Alternate URL




Alternate JournalBMJ Open
Citation Key / SERVAL ID9019
Peer reviewRefereed
PubMed ID30056380
PubMed Central IDPMC6067373


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