Study looks at ICD complications in younger people

23rd September 2015

Younger people with internal defibrillators are at risk of inappropriate shocks and complications, and should be aware of the data so they can make informed decisions, says a new study.

Researchers in Holland looked at the rates of complications for the life-saving devices, termed implantable cardioverter defibrillators  or ICDs.

The study looked at ICD data from almost 5,000 people in their 20s, 30s, 40s or early 50s involved in 63 studies.

Inappropriate shocks occurred in 20% of the patients (a rate of 4.7% per year), and 22% experienced ICD-related complications (4.4% per year) and there was a 0.5% ICD-related mortality (0.08% per year).

Those involved had a range of inherited heart diseases, including arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy caused by a mutation in the lamin A/C gene.

The study, published online by the Heart Rhythm Society, was led by Dr Louise Olde Nordkamp from the department of clinical and experimental cardiology at the academic medical centre in Amsterdam.

The researchers concluded that the data should be used to better inform patients and doctors about the expected risk of adverse ICD events and so share decision-making.