A survey on the follow-up practices of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in Canada was conducted by the Canadian Working Group on Cardiac Pacing in 1999. The survey identified the need for national guidelines. The present guidelines for ICD follow-up represent a consensus statement of the Canadian Working Group on Cardiac Pacing. They recommend that patients be assessed before hospital discharge, at two to 12 weeks following implantation, six months after implantation, and at a minimum of every six months thereafter. More frequent assessments may be required for some patients depending on associated cardiovascular problems and specific ICD devices. A typical follow-up visit should include a targeted cardiovascular assessment, interrogation of the ICD, review of telemetered data, assessment of the underlying rhythm, pacing and sensing thresholds, lead impedance and appropriate reprogramming of ICD parameters to optimize device function and longevity.