Prehospital discharge defibrillation testing in ICD recipients: A prospective study based on cost analysis

Keith G. Lurie, Demosthenes Iskos, Joseph Fetter, Colleen A. Peterson, Joanne M. Collins, Jeffery J. Shultz, Gerard J. Fahy, Scott Sakaguchi, David G. Benditt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Prehospital discharge defibrillation testing is often performed to verify the function of newly implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). To determine whether elimination of predischarge testing could reduce costs without placing patients at additional risk, 31 patients were randomized in this prospective clinical evaluation to either receive or not receive a predischarge ICD defibrillation test. Expenses associated with postimplant care was the primary endpoint. All patients underwent induction of ventricular fibrillation after 6 months to evaluate ICD function. The groups were well matched in terms of patient characteristics, initial lead implant parameters, and defibrillation thresholds. Elimination of prehospital discharge testing resulted in a savings of $1,800/patient after 6 months, with no difference between groups in terms of ICD complication rates or unanticipated hospital admissions. Further studies are needed to better define the most appropriate time to assess defibrillation thresholds in the first year after implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Feb 11 1999


  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • Outcomes
  • Predischarge testing
  • Ventricular fibrillation

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