Effectiveness of implantable defibrillators for preventing arrhythmic events and death: A meta-analysis

University of Toronto, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation/Clinical Epidemiology, Toronto, Canada.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 16.5). 05/2003; 41(9):1573-82. DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(03)00253-5
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and medical strategies for prevention of arrhythmic events and death.
The ICD is a potential strategy to reduce mortality in patients at risk of sudden death.
The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library electronic databases were searched from January 1966 to April 2002. All published randomized controlled trials comparing ICD implantation with medical therapy were reviewed. Four independent reviewers extracted data on all-cause mortality, nonarrhythmic death, and arrhythmic death using a standardized protocol.
Nine studies including over 5,000 patients were synthesized using both fixed-effects and random-effects models. The primary and secondary prevention trials showed a significant benefit of the ICD with respect to arrhythmic death, with relative risks (RR) of 0.34 and 0.50, respectively (both p < 0.001). The mortality benefit of the ICD was entirely attributable to a reduction in arrhythmic death (all trials: p < 0.00001). Whereas the secondary prevention trials exhibited a robust decrease in all-cause ICD mortality (RR 0.75; p < 0.001), the pooled primary prevention trials demonstrated decreased all-cause ICD mortality (RR 0.66; p < 0.05) which was dependent on selected individual trials. The disparity in ICD-related mortality reductions in the primary prevention trials was related to variability in the incidence of arrhythmic death between individual studies.
Although the ICD decreases the risk of arrhythmic death, its impact on all-cause mortality is related to the underlying risk of arrhythmia-related death relative to competing causes. Given the cost of the device strategy, policies of targeted intervention based on the future risk of arrhythmia are warranted.

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Available from: Peter P Liu, May 10, 2014
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    • "Previous meta-analyses demonstrated that the ICD is associated with a 50% RR reduction for arrhythmic death in secondary prevention patients.25,26 In primary prevention, the risk reduction for arrhythmic death is similar. "
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    ABSTRACT: Much controversy exists concerning the efficacy of primary prophylactic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in patients with low ejection fraction due to coronary artery disease (CAD) or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). This is also related to the bias created by function improving interventions added to ICD therapy, e.g. resynchronization therapy. The aim was to investigate the efficacy of ICD-only therapy in primary prevention in patients with CAD or DCM. Public domain databases, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, were searched from 1980 to 2009 for randomized clinical trials of ICD vs. conventional therapy. Two investigators independently abstracted the data. Pooled estimates were calculated using both fixed-effects and random-effects models. Eight trials were included in the final analysis (5343 patients). Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators significantly reduced the arrhythmic mortality [relative risk (RR): 0.40; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.27-0.67] and all-cause mortality (RR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.64-0.82). Regardless of aetiology of heart disease, ICD benefit was similar for CAD (RR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.51-0.88) vs. DCM (RR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.59-0.93). The results of this meta-analysis provide strong evidence for the beneficial effect of ICD-only therapy on the survival of patients with ischaemic or non-ischaemic heart disease, with a left ventricular ejection fraction ≤ 35%, if they are 40 days from myocardial infarction and ≥ 3 months from a coronary revascularization procedure.
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    • "Recently, multiple randomized trials have established the benefit of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in improving survival in high-risk cardiac patients [4]. However, the randomized trials excluded patients with ESRD and included only a minority of patients with mild to moderate CKD [5] [6] [7] [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) remains high. Limited data is available about whether implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can prevent arrhythmic death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the impact of CKD on all-cause and sudden cardiac death in ICD recipients. We evaluated 441 consecutive patients who underwent ICD implantation at our center between 1994 and 2002. We found that mortality rate was higher in patients with eGFR <60 mL/min and those with ESRD on hemodialysis (43%, n = 69/162 and 54%, n = 12/22, resp.) than in patients with eGFR >/=60 mL/min (23%, n = 58/257; P < .0005). The SCD rate was also higher in the patients with ESRD (50%) than in CKD patients not on dialysis (10.2%; P < .0005). Mortality rate for single-chamber ICDs was 56.8% in comparison with dual-chamber ICDs (38.1%) and for biventricular ICDs (5.0%) (P < .0005).
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    ABSTRACT: Defibrillation threshold (DFT) testing has traditionally been an integral part of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation. With the increasing number of patients receiving ICDs, physicians are encountering high DFT more often than before. Tackling the problem of high DFT, warrants an in-depth understanding of the science of defibrillation including the key electrophysiological concepts and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Numerous factors have been implicated in the causation of high DFT. Due consideration to the past medical history, pharmacotherapy, laboratory data and cardiac imaging, help in assessing the pre- procedural risk for occurrence of high DFT. Drugs, procedural changes, type and location of ICD lead system are some of the key players in predicting DFT during implantation. In the event of encountering an unacceptably high DFT, we recommend to follow a step-wise algorithm. Ruling out procedural complications like pneumothorax and tamponade is imperative before embarking on a search for potentially reversible clinical or metabolic derangements. Finally, if these attempts fail, the electrophysiologist must choose from a wide range of options for device adjustment and system modification. Although this review article is meant to be a treatise on the science, signs and solutions for high DFT, it is bound by limitations of space and scope of the article.
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