Entries in ICD (2)


Less Invasive, Implantable Defibrillators Pose Less Risks to Heart Patients

Comstock/Thinkstock(ROTTERDAM, Netherlands) -- Implantable heart defibrillators save lives, but there are risks associated with them. A new type of defibrillator that's less invasive, however, may help reduce some of those risks without compromising efficiency.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators, or ICDs, work by detecting and correcting abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to heart attack or death. The sensor part of the defibrillator is placed directly in the heart.  Serious problems could develop if it breaks, gets dislodged or causes an infection.

But the new ICD, or S-ICD, is implanted just under the skin instead of the heart.

According to a report presented at an international meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society, the new device performed with 100-percent accuracy.

Researchers in the Netherlands studied 98 patients over a nine-month period.  The ICD under the skin never failed to detect and correct abnormal heart rhythms during the trial.

The new ICD is already in use in Europe, but not in the United States. If approved by the FDA, the device could have a profound impact on heart patients, especially in cases where several members of a single family suffer congenital heart conditions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Twenty Percent of ICD Patients Do Not Meet Criteria for Use

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) – A new study suggests that around 20 percent of patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator do not meet certain guidelines for use of the device.

The ICD, a small electrical impulse generator, is most effective when implanted in patients with advanced systolic heart failure and are therefore at a high risk of cardiac death. The device is not recommended for use in primary prevention or in patients with severe heart failure symptoms and those who have had a recent diagnosis of heart failure.

The study, however, concluded that about 20 percent of more than 100,000 patients who were studied did not meet criteria for its use, and therefore had a significantly greater risk of in-hospital death.

The research, conducted by a group at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, examined cases from January 2006 to June 2009. Results showed that the 22.5 percent of patients who did not meet guidelines for the device had a .57 percent risk of in-hospital death compared to .18 percent in those who did meet criteria for use. The risk of post-procedure complications in those who did not meet criteria was also higher.

“Although the absolute difference in complications between the two groups is modest, these complications could have significant effects on patients’ quality of life and health care use, including length of hospital stay and costs,” wrote the authors.  “While a small risk of complications is acceptable when a procedure has been shown to improve outcomes, no risk is acceptable if a procedure has no demonstrated benefit.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio