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Postgrad Med. 1998 Jan;103(1):115-6, 119-23, 129-30.

Update on implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. New, safer devices have led to changes in indications.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Jackson, USA.


The safety and efficacy of ICDs have improved significantly in the past few years. Recent evidence supports the value of these devices not only for secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death, but also for primary prevention in post-myocardial infarction patients with poor left ventricular function, unsustained ventricular tachycardia, and inducible ventricular tachycardia on electrophysiologic study. Transvenous defibrillation using the defibrillator case as the high-voltage electrode and a biphasic shock is currently the procedure of choice. Implantation is simple, and the defibrillation thresholds are acceptably low. However, the possibility of interactions must be considered in patients with cardiac pacemakers.

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