No benefit from defibrillation threshold testing in the SCD-HeFT (Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial).

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated whether defibrillation threshold (DFT) testing during implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation predicts clinical outcomes. BACKGROUND: Defibrillation testing is often performed during insertion of ICDs to confirm shock efficacy. There are no prospective data to suggest that this procedure improves outcomes when modern ICDs are implanted for primary prevention of sudden death. METHODS: The analysis included the 811 patients who were randomized to the ICD arm of the SCD-HeFT (Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial) and had the device implanted. The DFT testing protocol in SCD-HeFT was designed to limit shock testing in a primary prevention heart failure population. RESULTS: Baseline DFT data were available for 717 patients (88.4%). All 717 patients had a DFT of < or =30 J, the maximum output of the device in this study. The DFT was < or =20 J in 97.8% of patients. There was no survival difference between patients with a lower DFT (< or =10 J, n = 547) and a higher DFT (>10 J, n = 170) (p = 0.41). First shock efficacy was 83.0% for the first clinical ventricular tachyarrhythmia event; there were no differences in shock efficacies when the cohort was subdivided by baseline DFT. CONCLUSIONS: Low baseline DFTs were obtained in patients with stable, optimally treated heart failure during ICD implantation for primary prevention of sudden death. First shock efficacy for ventricular tachyarrhythmias was high regardless of baseline DFT testing results. Baseline DFT testing did not predict long-term mortality or shock efficacy in this study.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blatt, JA; Poole, JE; Johnson, GW; Callans, DJ; Raitt, MH; Reddy, RK; Marchlinski, FE; Yee, R; Guarnieri, T; Talajic, M; Wilber, DJ; Anderson, J; Chung, K; Wong, WS; Mark, DB; Lee, KL; Bardy, GH; SCD-HeFT Investigators,

Published Date

  • August 12, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 551 - 556

PubMed ID

  • 18687249

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-3597

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.04.051


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States