ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of defibrillation testing (DT) in patients undergoing implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) insertion.
Although DT is considered a standard procedure during ICD implantation, its usefulness has not been definitively proven.
The SAFE-ICD (Safety of Two Strategies of ICD Management at Implantation) study is a prospective observational study designed to evaluate the outcome of 2 strategies: performing defibrillation testing (DT+) versus not performing defibrillation testing (DT-) during de novo ICD implants. No deviation from the centers' current practice was introduced. In all, 2,120 consecutive patients (836 DT+ and 1,284 DT-) age ≥18 years were enrolled at 41 Italian centers from April 2008 to May 2009 and followed up for 24 months until June 2011. The primary endpoint was a composite of severe complications at ICD implant and sudden cardiac death or resuscitation at 2 years.
The primary endpoint occurred in 34 patients: 12 intraoperative complications (8 in DT+ group; 4 in DT- group) and 22 during follow-up (10 in DT+ group; 12 in DT- group). Overall, the estimated yearly incidence (95% confidence interval) was DT+ 1.15% (0.73 to 1.83) and DT- 0.68% (0.42 to 1.12). The difference between the 2 groups was negligible: 0.47% per year (-0.15 to 1.10). Mortality from any cause was similar at 2 years (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.97 [0.76 to 1.23], p = 0.80).
In this large cohort of new ICD implants, event rates were similar and extremely low in both groups. These data indicate a limited clinical relevance for DT testing, thus supporting a strategy of omitting DT during an ICD implant. (Safety of Two Strategies of ICD Management at Implantation [SAFE-ICD]; NCT00661037).
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 07/2012; 60(11):981-7. · 14.16 Impact Factor