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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Heart Rhythm, Volume 14, Issue 9, September 2017, Pages 1382-1387.

The published version is available at Copyright © Rickard et al.


BACKGROUND: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are effective in terminating lethal arrhythmias, but little is known about the degree of health care utilization (HCU) after ICD therapies.

OBJECTIVE: Using data from the managed ventricular pacing trial, we sought to identify the incidence and types of HCU in ICD patients after receiving ICD therapy (shocks or antitachycardia pacing [ATP]).

METHODS: We analyzed HCU events (ventricular tachyarrhythmia [VTA]-related, heart failure-related, ICD implant procedure-related, ICD system-related, or other) and their association with ICD therapies (shocked ventricular tachycardia episode, ATP-terminated ventricular tachycardia episode, and inappropriately shocked episode).

RESULTS: A total of 1879 HCUs occurred in 695 of 1030 subjects (80% primary prevention) and were classified as follows: 133 (7%) VTA-related, 373 (20%) heart failure-related, 97 (5%) implant procedure-related, 115 (6%) system-related, and 1160 (62%) other. Of 2113 treated VTA episodes, 1680 (80%) received ATP only and 433 (20%) received shocks. Stratifying VTA-related HCUs on the basis of the type of ICD therapy delivered, there were 25 HCUs per 100 shocked VTA episodes compared with 1 HCU per 100 ATP-terminated episodes. Inappropriate ICD shocks occurred in 8.7% of the subjects and were associated with 115 HCUs. The majority of HCUs (52%) began in the emergency department, and 66% of all HCUs resulted in hospitalization.

CONCLUSION: For VTA-related HCUs, shocks are associated with a 25-fold increase in HCUs compared to VTAs treated by ATP only. Application of evidence-based strategies and automated device-based algorithms to reduce ICD shocks (higher rate cutoffs, use of ATP, and arrhythmia detection) may help reduce HCUs.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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