Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators in Patients With a Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device: An Analysis of the INTERMACS Registry

Kevin J. Clerkin, Veli K. Topkara, Ryan T. Demmer, Jose M. Dizon, Melana Yuzefpolskaya, Justin A. Fried, Xingchen Mai, Donna M. Mancini, Koji Takeda, Hiroo Takayama, Yoshifumi Naka, Paolo C. Colombo, A. Reshad Garan

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50 Scopus citations


Objectives This study sought to determine if the presence of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) provided a mortality benefit during continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. Background An ICD decreases mortality in selected patients with advanced heart failure and have been associated with reduced mortality in patients with pulsatile LVAD. However, it is unclear whether that benefit extends to patients with a contemporary continuous-flow LVAD. Methods Propensity score matching was used to generate a cohort of patients with similar baseline characteristics. The primary outcome was freedom from death during LVAD support. Secondary endpoints included freedom from unexpected death, likelihood of transplantation and recovery, and adverse events. Results Among 16,384 eligible patients in the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support registry, 2,209 patients with an ICD and 2,209 patients without one had similar propensity scores and were included. The presence of an ICD was associated with an increased mortality risk (hazard ratio: 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04 to 1.39; p = 0.013) and an increased risk of unexpected death during device support (HR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.71; p = 0.03). Patients with an ICD were more likely to undergo transplantation (HR: 1.16; 95% CI: 0.99 to 1.35; p = 0.06) and less likely to have LVAD explant for recovery (HR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.29 to 0.98; p = 0.04). Patients with an ICD had a higher rate of treated ventricular arrhythmias (rate ratio: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.48; p = 0.001) and rehospitalization (rate ratio: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.12; p < 0.0001), but rates of hemorrhagic stroke were similar (rate ratio: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.81 to 1.26; p = 0.98). Conclusions Among patients with a continuous flow LVAD, the presence of an ICD was not associated with reduced mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-926
Number of pages11
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation


  • arrhythmia
  • heart failure
  • implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • left ventricular assist device
  • mortality
  • transplantation


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