Impact of defibrillation threshold testing on burden of heart failure hospitalizations

Baris Akdemir, Yanhui Li, Balaji Krishnan, Selcuk Adabag, Venkatakrishna Tholakanahalli, David G. Benditt, Jian Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Defibrillation threshold testing (DT) following implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation has not shown to improve mortality. However, the impact of DT on burden of heart failure (HF) hospitalisations has not been well defined. Methods: We studied retrospectively consecutive patients who underwent ICD implantation or generator change between 2008 and 2014. Primary outcome was burden of HF hospitalisations within 30 days following implantation. Secondary outcomes were mortality, stroke, and ICD shock within 30 days and one-year mortality. Results: Three hundred and eleven of 501 patients (62%) were in DT+ group versus 190 (38%) were in DT− group. The percentage of new implantations was higher in DT+ group than in DT− group (69% vs 39%, p <.001) but the distributions of NYHA function classes were similar between two groups. The burden of HF hospitalisations at 30-days was significantly higher in DT+ group than in DT− group (17.4% vs 4.7%, HR 0.842, 95% CI 0.774–0.915, p <.0001). No difference in mortality, stroke or ICD shocks was found between two groups at 30 days and mortality at 1 year. Conclusions: DT after new ICD or generator replacement was associated with increased HF hospitalisation rates at 30 days after ICD implant in a non-trial HF population. However, there was no association between DT and mortality, stroke and ICD shocks at 30 days or mortality at 1 year. The increased burden of HF hospitalisation in this observational study requires validation by randomised studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalActa cardiologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Defibrillation testing
  • heart failure
  • implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • mortality

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study


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