Objectives This study sought to determine how often patients with primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) meet guideline-derived indications at the time of generator replacement. Background Professional societies have developed guideline criteria for the appropriate implantation of an ICD for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death. It is unknown whether patients continue to meet criteria when their devices need replacement for battery depletion. Methods We performed a retrospective chart review of patients undergoing replacement of primary prevention ICDs at 2 tertiary Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Indications for continued ICD therapy at the time of generator replacement included a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤35% or receipt of appropriate device therapy. Results In our cohort of 231 patients, 59 (26%) no longer met guideline-driven indications for an ICD at the time of generator replacement. An additional 79 patients (34%) had not received any appropriate ICD therapies and had not undergone reassessment of their LVEF. Patients with an initial LVEF of 30% to 35% were less likely to meet indications for ICD therapy at the time of replacement (odds ratio: 0.52; 95% confidence interval: 0.30 to 0.88; p = 0.01). Patients without ICD indications subsequently received appropriate ICD therapies at a significantly lower rate than patients with indications (2.8% vs. 10.7% annually, p < 0.001). If ICD generator explantations were performed instead of replacements in the patients without ICD indications, the cost savings would be $1.6 million. Conclusions Approximately 25% of patients who receive primary prevention ICDs may no longer meet guideline indications for ICD use at the time of generator replacement, and these patients receive subsequent ICD therapies at a significantly lower rate.
- ICD generator replacement
- implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
- sudden cardiac death
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine