Patients at lower risk of arrhythmia recurrence: a subgroup in whom implantable defibrillators may not offer benefit. Antiarrhythmics Versus Implantable Defibrillator (AVID) Trial Investigators

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Mar 15;37(4):1093-9. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(00)01208-0.


Objectives: The goal of this study was to identify subgroups of arrhythmia patients who do not benefit from use of the implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD).

Background: Treatment of serious ventricular arrhythmias has evolved toward more common use of the ICD. Since estimates of the cost per year of life saved by ICD therapy vary from $25,000 to perhaps $125,000, it is important to identify patient subgroups that do not benefit from the ICD.

Methods: Data for 491 ICD patients enrolled in the Antiarrhythmics Versus Implantable Defibrillators Study were used to create a hazards model relating baseline factors to time to first recurrent arrhythmia. The model was used to predict the hazard for recurrent arrhythmia among all trial patients. A priori cut points provided lower and higher recurrent arrhythmia risk strata. For each stratum the incremental years of life due to ICD versus antiarrhythmic drug therapy were calculated.

Results: Factors that predicted recurrent arrhythmia were: ventricular tachycardia as the index arrhythmia, history of cerebrovascular disease, lower left ventricular ejection fraction, a history of any tachyarrhythmia before the index event and the absence of revascularization after the index event. Survival times (over a follow-up of three years) were identical in each arm of the lowest risk sextile (survival advantage 0.03 +/- 0.12 [se] years), while the survival advantage for patients above the first sextile was 0.27 +/- 0.07 (se) years (two-sided p = 0.05).

Conclusions: Patients presenting with an isolated episode of ventricular fibrillation in the absence of cerebrovascular disease or history of prior arrhythmia who have undergone revascularization or who have moderately preserved left ventricular function (left ventricular ejection fraction > 0.27) are not likely to benefit from ICD therapy compared with amiodarone therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / mortality
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Revascularization
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Stroke Volume
  • Survival Rate
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents