Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) have been shown to reduce sudden cardiac death in select patients with impaired left ventricular function. However, consensus guidelines on ICD use have not historically addressed patients waiting for heart transplantation, and further evidence is needed to broaden and strengthen current recommendations. The objective of the present study was to review all patients listed for heart transplantation at a single institution and evaluate the impact of ICD implantation while waiting. All consecutive patients listed for heart transplantation at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 1995 to July 2006, were included in the study (n = 124). We observed 12 deaths while waiting among patients listed for transplantation (10%), with all deaths occurring in the non-ICD patients. In patients who did have an ICD prior to transplantation, 17% received appropriate defibrillation therapy while awaiting transplantation, and 3 of 12 patients in the non-ICD population who died while waiting died suddenly, suggesting that ICDs could be used as a "bridge to transplantation" in patients with refractory heart failure who are to be listed for heart transplantation.
Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center and the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Research Methods Unit, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2012 Aug 1;5(4):706-13
Underuse of implantable defibrillators has been previously noted in patients at risk for sudden cardiac death, as well as for survivors of sudden cardiac death. We sought to determine the utilization rates in a primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)-eligible population and mortality in this group compared with a group that had undergone implantation of this therapy.
A retrospective cohort of patients from April 1, 2006, to December 31, 2009, was used to define a primary prevention ICD-eligible population. Two groups were compared on the basis of ICD implantation (no-ICD versus ICD). The primary outcome measure was mortality. Of the 717 patients found to be potentially eligible for a primary prevention ICD, 116 (16%) were referred. The remaining cohort of 601 patients were compared with an existing cohort of primary prevention ICD patients (n=290). A significant survival benefit was associated with primary prevention ICD implantation (hazard ratio, 0.46; 95% CI [0.33-0.64]; P
Comment In: Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2012 Aug 1;5(4):624-522895600