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Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2013 Jun;6(3):504-12. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.113.000216. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in a nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy population: reappraisal of the role of programmed ventricular stimulation.

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  • 1First Cardiology Clinic, University of Athens, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, Greece. kgatzoul@med.uoa.gr



We considered the role of programmed ventricular stimulation in primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in an idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy population.


One hundred fifty-eight patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy underwent programmed ventricular stimulation. Ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation was triggered in 44 patients (group I, 27.8%) versus 114 patients (group II), where ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation was not induced. Sixty-nine patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy underwent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation: 41/44 in group I and 28/114 in group II. The major end points of the study were overall mortality and appropriate ICD activation. Overall mortality during the 46.9 months of mean follow-up was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Patients with left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35% (n=119) demonstrated a higher overall mortality rate compared with the patients with left ventricular ejection fraction >35% (n=39; 16.8% versus 10.3%, log-rank P=0.025). Advanced New York Heart Association class (III and IV versus I and II) was the single independent and strongest prognostic factor of overall mortality (hazard ratio, 11.909; P<0.001; confidence interval, 3.106-45.65), as well as of cardiac mortality (hazard ratio, 14.787; P=0.001; confidence interval, 2.958-73.922). Among ICD recipients, ICD activation rate was significantly higher in group I compared with group II (30 of 41 patients-73.2% versus 5 of 28 patients-17.9%; log-rank P=0.001), either in the form of antitachycardia pacing (68.3% versus 17.9%; log-rank P=0.001) or in the shock delivery form (51.2% versus 17.9%; log-rank P=0.05). Induction of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation during programmed ventricular stimulation in contrast to left ventricular ejection fraction was the single independent prognostic factor for future ICD activation (hazard ratio, 4.195; P=0.007; confidence interval, 1.467-11.994).


Inducibility of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation was associated with an increased likelihood of subsequent ICD activation and sudden cardiac death surrogate.


dilated cardiomyopathy; electrophysiology test; implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; primary prevention; risk stratification

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