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Am Heart J. 2007 Nov;154(5):899-907.

Life expectancy gains and cost-effectiveness of implantable cardioverter/defibrillators for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a devastating complication of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The optimal strategy for the primary prevention of SCD in HCM remains controversial.


Using a Markov model, we compared the health benefits and cost-effectiveness of 3 strategies for the primary prevention of SCD: implantable cardioverter/defibrillator (ICD) insertion, amiodarone therapy, or no therapy. We modeled hypothetical cohorts of 45-year-old patients with HCM with no history of cardiac arrest but at significant risk of SCD (3%/y).


Over a lifetime, compared with no therapy, ICD therapy increased quality-adjusted survival by 4.7 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) at an additional cost of $142,800 ($30,000 per QALY), whereas amiodarone increased quality-adjusted survival by 2.8 QALYs at an additional cost of $104,900 ($37,300 per QALY). Compared with no therapy, ICD therapy would cost < $50,000 per QALY for patients (i) aged 25, with > or = 1 risk factors for SCD, and (ii) aged 45 or 65, with > or = 2 risk factors for SCD.


An ICD strategy is projected to yield the greatest increase in quality-adjusted life expectancy of the 3 treatment strategies evaluated. Combined consideration of age and the number of risk factors for SCD may allow more precise tailoring of ICD therapy to its expected benefits.

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