[Remarks on the guideline recommendations for cardioverter-defibrillator implantation for primary prevention of sudden cardiac Death in patients with severe ventricular dysfunction. Consensus Document of the Italian Association of Hospital Cardiologists (ANMCO)/Italian Society of Cardiology (SIC)/Italian Association of Arrhythmology and Cardiac Pacing (AIAC)]

G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2013 Nov;14(11):752-72. doi: 10.1714/1360.15089.
[Article in Italian]


The indications for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy for the prevention of sudden cardiac death in patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction have rapidly expanded over the last 10 years on the basis of the very satisfying results of the numerous randomized clinical trials that have provided the framework for guidelines. However, the analysis of clinical practice in the real world has highlighted some important criticisms in the complex process of selection-management of those patients candidates for ICD therapy: 1) approximately one fourth of all ICD implantations is not justified by clinical evidence, 2) approximately one half of patients with an indication for ICD therapy do not undergo implantation, 3) the benefits from ICD therapy do not apply uniformly to all patients, 4) the relationship between the lifesaving benefit and the potential for harm of ICD therapy is still scarcely known. The main reason for this clinical scenario can be ascribed to the guideline recommendations that are based only on few standard cut-off criteria and therefore too generic and insufficiently detailed. This does not help cardiologists in their decision-making process, and results in fear, uncertainty, and sometimes emotional choices. The aim of this consensus document is to discuss current guideline recommendations and to provide the Italian cardiologists with the most updated information to optimize the selection of patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction who should receive ICD therapy.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / adverse effects
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / economics
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / ethics
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ventricular Dysfunction / complications*