How long an ICD lasts differs significantly between manufacturers,

20th August 2015

How long an internal defibrillator will last in a patient differs significantly between manufacturers, independent of the device type or how it is set to pace, suggests a new study.

Researchers looked at the longevity of the devices, termed implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), fitted to over 1,200 people at one medical centre between 1998 and 2010.

The pacemaker-like devices are used when doctors feel a patient is at risk of a dangerous heart rhythm, as they can deliver a shock to get the heart back into a normal rhythm. Some devices also include biventricular pacing to help the heart beat in a more synchronised way and improve symptoms.  They are sometimes used in people with cardiomyopathy.

In the study, published in the Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology, 1272 consecutive patients were fitted with 1665 ICDs (including some which also had biventricular pacing) at the University Medical Centre in Gottingen, Germany.

The researchers, led by Dr Joachim Seegers from the department of cardiology and pneumology and clinical electrophysiology division of the medical centre, said they wanted to find real-life comparative data to identify the best possible device longevity for best patient comfort and to minimise risk for multiple replacements.

Data from the devices and follow up information were retrieved from the clinic documentation and generator replacements verified.

A total of 470 devices had been replaced. Differences between manufacturers remained significant upon multivariate analysis as did differences of device type and pacing percentage. Pacing output and ICD shocks did not influence battery longevity, said the researchers.

More details of the study