An invasive strategy, based on prophylactic permanent pacing, is associated with longer survival for patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1.
Karim Wahbi, MD, of Pitié-Saltpêtière Hospital in Paris, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 914 consecutive patients (>18 years) with genetically confirmed myotonic dystrophy type 1 who were admitted to the hospital from 2000–2009. Of the 486 patients whose electrocardiogram showed a PR interval >200 ms or a QRS duration >100ms, or both, 70.2% underwent an invasive treatment strategy based on systematic electrophysiological studies and prophylactic permanent pacing and 29.8% underwent a noninvasive strategy.
During a median of 7.4 years of follow-up, the researchers found that 50 patients in the invasive strategy group and 30 in the noninvasive strategy group died (hazard ratio [HR], 0.74; P=0.19), corresponding to an overall nine-year survival of 74.4%. Adjusting for between-group differences in baseline characteristics, the invasive strategy was associated with significantly longer survival, with adjusted HRs ranging from 0.47–0.61. The survival difference was mainly due to a reduced incidence of sudden death, which occurred in 10 patients in the invasive strategy group vs. 16 patients in the noninvasive strategy group (HRs ranging from 0.24–0.28).
“Among patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1, an invasive strategy was associated with a higher rate of nine-year survival than a noninvasive strategy,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry; one author disclosed financial ties to Genzyme.