Wearable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death (March 2016)

Dec 13, 2016

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) accounts for >300 000 deaths in the United States annually. Although the majority of these deaths occur in low-risk populations in which aggressive interventions are not practical, some higher-risk populations have been established in whom intervention with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) has been shown in randomized trials to reduce mortality. Additionally, there is a population of patients who may benefit from automatic emergency cardioversion-defibrillation but are not deemed appropriate candidates for ICD implantation at the time of presentation. This group is defined by 2 populations. The first subgroup comprises those who are at perceived risk but for whom there may be optimism for clinical improvement (eg, patients soon after revascularization or those with a recent diagnosis of myocardial infarction [MI] or cardiomyopathy). Alternatively stated, the optimal management of these patients at risk (or perceived risk) during the waiting period before an ICD is indicated remains unknown. The second subgroup includes those who have a clear indication for ICD but also have a contraindication to immediate ICD placement (eg, active infection or unknown prognosis).

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