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Heart Rhythm. 2012 Jan;9(1):24-31. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

The impact of atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular rates and device programming on shocks in 106,513 ICD and CRT-D patients.

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Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029, USA.



The relationship between shocks, device programming, and atrial fibrillation (AF) with a rapid ventricular rate (AF + RVR) using continuous daily monitoring has not been studied in large number of patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs).


The aim of this analysis was to determine the impact of ICD programming and ventricular rate control during AF on ICD shocks.


An observational cohort analysis was performed with dual-chamber ICD and cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator devices. The primary endpoint was spontaneous all-cause shocked episodes per 100 patient-years. Shock reduction programming strategies were entered into a multivariable model including slowest ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (VT/VF) detection threshold, number of intervals to detect VF (NID), supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) discriminators ON, antitachycardia pacing (ATP) ON for fast VTs (FVTs) and AF + RVR (AF ≥1 hour for ≥1 day with average ≥110 beats per minute). We also characterized the predictive ability of AF + RVR to identify patients at risk of subsequent shocks.


There were 106,513 patients at 2858 institutions, with 2.5 ± 1.4 years of follow-up, 75% being male, age 67 ± 12 years, 59% with dual-chamber ICDs, and 11% with AF + RVR. A total of 22,062 patients (21%) received 82,396 shocks. After adjusting for all variables, AF + RVR, slower VT/VF detection threshold, and shorter VF NID were found to be associated with more shocks (P < .05 for all). Continuous monitoring of AF + RVR identified patients at up to 5-fold increased risk of shocks.


Faster VT/VF detection thresholds, longer detection durations, use of SVT discriminators, and delivery of ATP reduces all-cause ICD shocks. Continuous monitoring of AF + RVR identifies patients at the highest risk of future ICD shocks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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