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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2017 Dec;40(12):1368-1373. doi: 10.1111/pace.13215. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in the elderly: Predictors of appropriate interventions and mortality at 12-month follow-up.

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Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.



The effectiveness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in the elderly is uncertain, given their competing risk of nonarrhythmic death. Guidelines state that an ICD should be implanted if the expectation of survival is at least 1 year. However, survival is not easy to predict in elderly patients with severe cardiac disease.


To assess 12-month survival after ICD implantation in patients aged ≥75 years, to identify predictors of 12-month mortality, and to evaluate the incidence of ICD therapy during follow-up.


We retrospectively analyzed all clinical, instrumental, and survival data of patients ≥75 years old who received an ICD in our center from 2000 to 2013.


We included 127 patients (mean age 78 years). ICD was implanted for primary prevention in 61%. The 12-month survival rate was 87.4%. At both univariate and multivariate analyses, left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) ≤ 25%, and moderate to severe impaired renal function (IRF) independently predicted 12-month mortality that was as high as 45.5% in patients with both risk factors. During a median follow-up of 38 months, 30 patients (23.6%) received ≥1 appropriate ICD interventions, but only 3.1% of shocks occurred during the first year, and none in the subgroup of patients with EF ≤ 25% and IRF.


Twelve-month survival in elderly patients after ICD implantation is good and the indication for ICD should not be based on age alone. However, the subgroup with EF ≤ 25% and IRF showed a high 12-month nonarrhythmic mortality and did not benefit from ICD implantation.


arrhythmias; elderly; implantable defibrillator

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