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Clin Cardiol. 2011 Oct;34(10):604-9. doi: 10.1002/clc.20949. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Comparison of ventricular tachyarrhythmia characteristics in patients with idiopathic dilated or ischemic cardiomyopathy and defibrillators implanted for primary prevention.

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First Department of Medicine-Cardiology, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.



Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy for primary prevention is well established in ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). Data on the role of ICDs in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and no history of ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VT/VF) are more limited.


DCM patients with an impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) still represent a low arrhythmic risk subgroup in clinical practice.


ICD stored data of DCM patients with an LVEF ≤35% was compared to data of ICM patients meeting Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial (MADIT) eligibility criteria. VT/VF occurrences and electrical storm (ES) events were analyzed.


There were 652 patients followed for 50.9 ± 33.9 months. There were 1978 VT and 241 VF episodes analyzed in 66 out of 203 patients (32.5%) with DCM and in 118 out of 449 patients (26.3%, P = 0.209) with ICM. Freedom of appropriate ICD treatment due to VT/VF or ES events did not differ in both patient populations (log-rank, P>0.05). In patients presenting with VT/VF episodes, mean event rates were comparable in both patient populations (3.2 ± 14.1 for DCM and VT vs 3 ± 13.9 for ICM and VT [P = 0.855], 0.4 ± 1.3 for DCM and VF vs 0.4 ± 1.8 for ICM and VF [P = 0.763], and 0.2 ± 0.7 for DCM and ES vs 0.2 ± 1 for ICM and ES [P = 0.666]).


DCM patients with prophylactic ICDs implanted due to heart failure and patients fulfilling MADIT criteria reveal comparable patterns of VT/VF/ES events during long-term follow-up. Incidence, mean number of events, and time to first event did not differ significantly. Findings support the current guidelines for prophylactic ICD therapy in DCM patients with heart failure.

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