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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Efficacy of automatic multimodal device therapy for ventricular tachyarrhythmias as delivered by a new implantable pacing cardioverter-defibrillator. Results of a European multicenter study of 102 implants.

BACKGROUND. Third-generation implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are devices designed to treat ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) by means of overdrive pacing, cardioversion, or defibrillation. So far, the efficacy of tiered therapy has been documented only in small series. Therefore, a European multicenter clinical evaluation study of a new tachyarrhythmia control device, the Medtronic PCD pacer-cardioverter-defibrillator with epicardial patch-lead configuration, was undertaken. METHODS AND RESULTS. We report on 102 patients (mean age, 55 +/- 13 years) from 11 European centers. PCD devices implanted between May 1989 and February 1991 were included. The patients suffered from hemodynamically significant ventricular tachyarrhythmias not suppressed by antiarrhythmic drug therapy and unrelated to acute myocardial infarction; one patient had nonsustained VT and severely depressed left ventricular function. Seventy patients had coronary artery disease with old myocardial infarctions, 23 had cardiomyopathies of various etiologies, and nine patients had no detectable heart disease. Mean ejection fraction was 36 +/- 14% (range, 10-76%). Mean intraoperative defibrillation threshold (51 patients) was 10.6 +/- 5.1 J (range, 2-18 J). The documented follow-up ranged from 1 to 21 months (mean, 9.4 +/- 5.8 months), or 79.9 cumulative patient-years. Perioperative mortality was 3.9%. The actuarial survival rate at 12 months was 91%. One sudden arrhythmic death occurred. Sixty patients (58%) received device therapy. Seventeen patients had therapies only for "VF" episodes, 16 patients only for VT, and 28 patients for VT and "VF" episodes. Based on device memory data, 1,235 spontaneous VT episodes were detected and treated in 43 patients. Twelve hundred four of these VT episodes received painless initial antitachycardia pacing therapy, restoring sinus rhythm in 91%. The 108 ongoing episodes received 209 multiple therapeutic attempts. Eighty-five additional overdrive pacing therapies restored sinus rhythm in 30%. Initial ineffective antitachycardia pacing therapies received 51 cardioversion pulses. The success rate was 61%. Seventy-three additional cardioversion pulses were delivered to backup ineffective pacing therapy as well as ineffective secondary cardioversion pulses. Their success rate was only 40%. Two hundred eighty-six spontaneous episodes were detected in 44 patients as "VF." Overall defibrillation efficacy was 97.6%. CONCLUSIONS. The implanted device nearly eliminates sudden arrhythmic death in patients with documented, potentially fatal ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Automatic tiered therapy is highly effective to restore sinus rhythm, provided that an integrated two-zone tachycardia detection algorithm is used, assigning lower tachycardia rates to overdrive pacing and/or cardioversion and higher tachycardia rates to defibrillation. In general, spontaneous VTs can be terminated by automatic overdrive pacing, and painful or disturbing countershock therapies are not required to terminate the majority of spontaneous VT episodes.[1]


  1. Efficacy of automatic multimodal device therapy for ventricular tachyarrhythmias as delivered by a new implantable pacing cardioverter-defibrillator. Results of a European multicenter study of 102 implants. Fromer, M., Brachmann, J., Block, M., Siebels, J., Hoffmann, E., Almendral, J., Ohm, O.J., den Dulk, K., Coumel, P., Camm, A.J. Circulation (1992) [Pubmed]
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