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Z Kardiol. 2002 Dec;91(12):1044-52.

[The Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator (WCD) for the prevention of sudden cardiac death -- a single center experience].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Kardiologie, Angiologie und Pneumologie, Zentrum für Innere Medizin, Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


The Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator (WCD) is an external defibrillator that automatically detects and treats ventricular tachyarrhythmias without the need for assistance from a bystander while at the same time allowing the patient to ambulate freely. The main components of the system are the defibrillator unit and a chest belt with electrodes for arrhythmia detection and therapy delivery. Between December 1998 and October 2001, 84 patients used the device at our institution. The majority of patients had a history of acute myocardial infarction or coronary artery bypass surgery with an increased risk for sudden cardiac death or were awaiting heart transplantation. During a mean follow-up of 116+/-90 days, 7 episodes of ventricular tachyarrhythmias were detected and terminated successfully by the WCD in 5 patients. In 9720 days, there was one inappropriate shock due to oversensing of electrical noise. Four patients died during follow-up; none of them had a cardiac arrest while wearing the device. Five patients were excluded because of irregularities in device use. An ICD was implanted in 24 patients at the end of the follow-up period. The WCD is effective in detecting and treating ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients with an intermittently increased risk for sudden cardiac death. Further use of the system in larger patient populations is needed to confirm its safety and cost effectiveness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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