Newer type of internal defibrillator gets post-market support

25th May 2017

A study looking at a newer type of internal defibrillator (ICD) has found that success in fitting the device has been high and short-term complications acceptable.

The post market approval study, published by the Heart Rhythm Society online, was examining the subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD).

Similarly to more traditional ICDs, the S-ICD can detect a life-threatening heart rhythm and shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. But it does not have leads into the heart. Instead it is fitted under the skin, simplifying surgery to implant and remove it, and potentially reducing the risk of infection.

It is also thought that the S-ICD may be better at spotting the difference between normal and abnormal heart rhythms so patients may receive fewer unnecessary shocks.

However, the S-ICD cannot pace the heart so is not suitable for those who need biventricular pacing.

Early multi-centre studies included younger people with better heart function and fewer other diseases than traditional ICD patients. So the study looked at patient selection and how the device performed in the real world.

A total of 1,637 patients from 86 centres in America were involved. Nearly seven in ten were men and the mean age was 52. The 30-day complication-free rate was 96.2%. Predictors of complications included diabetes, younger age and being heavier.