Opinions vary regarding the need to perform defibrillation testing prior to hospital discharge in recipients of state-of-the-art cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Our protocol is to perform predischarge ICD testing 1 day after implant. This report includes 682 consecutive implants. Adverse observations at testing were grouped into (1) risk of defibrillation failure, (2) surgical complications, (3) sensing/pacing issues or narrow defibrillation margin warranting closer follow-up, or (4) findings correctable by device reprogramming. Among the 682 patients, 63% had single-chamber and 37% dual-chamber or biventricular ICDs. In 48 patients (7%) there were 69 concerns and/or interventions, with overlaps among the four categories, including one failure to defibrillate (0.15%), and six other patients at risk. Surgical complications included 11 hematomas (1.6%), and six lead dysfunctions. Closer follow-up was indicated in 19 patients (2.7%), for high pacing thresholds in seven, sensing issues in seven, and <10 J defibrillation margin in five. Device reprogramming was needed in 31 patients (4.5%), for tachycardia detection and therapy settings in 12, and for pacing/sensing functions in 22 patients. In eight patients ventricular fibrillation could not be induced. There was no morbidity or mortality due to testing. The state-of-the-art ICDs delivering biphasic shocks are remarkably reliable. The routine pre-hospital discharge defibrillation testing of such ICDs may be optional and left to the physicians' discretion.
- ICD complications
- ICD testing
- Implantable cardioverter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine