Trends in Use and In-Hospital Outcomes of Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in Patients Undergoing Long-Term Dialysis.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Patients on dialysis are at high risk of complications related to implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation; use of subcutaneous ICDs may be preferred over transvenous devices due to lower risk of bloodstream infection and interference with vascular access sites. We evaluated trends in use and in-hospital outcomes of subcutaneous compared with transvenous ICDs among patients on dialysis in the United States. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: Retrospective analysis of ICD implants from 2012 to 2018 among patients on dialysis reported to the National Cardiovascular Data Registry ICD Registry, a nationally representative US ICD Registry. We examined overall trends in subcutaneous ICD adoption as a proportion of all eligible ICD implants among patients on dialysis and then compared in-hospital outcomes between eligible subcutaneous ICD and transvenous ICD recipients using inverse probability of treatment weighting. RESULTS: Of the 23,136 total ICD implants in patients on dialysis during the study period, 3195 (14%) were subcutaneous ICDs. Among eligible first-time ICD recipients on dialysis, the proportion of subcutaneous ICDs used increased yearly from 10% in 2012 to 69% in 2018. In propensity score-weighted analysis of 3327 patients, compared with transvenous ICDs, patients on dialysis receiving subcutaneous ICDs had a higher rate of in-hospital cardiac arrest (2% versus 0.4%, P=0.002), but there was no significant difference in total in-hospital complications (2% versus 1%, P=0.08), all-cause death, or length of hospital stay. CONCLUSIONS: The utilization of subcutaneous ICDs among US patients on dialysis has been steadily increasing. The overall risk of short-term complications is low and comparable with transvenous ICDs, but higher risks of in-hospital cardiac arrest merits closer monitoring and further investigation. PODCAST: This article contains a podcast at

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pun, PH; Parzynski, CS; Friedman, DJ; Sanders, G; Curtis, JP; Al-Khatib, SM

Published Date

  • November 6, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1622 - 1630

PubMed ID

  • 32967922

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32967922

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1555-905X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2215/CJN.07920520


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States