Background: Defibrillation testing is often performed to establish effective arrhythmia termination, but predictors and consequences of an inadequate defibrillation safety margin (DSM) remain largely unknown.
Objectives: The aims of this study were to develop a simple risk score predictive of an inadequate DSM at implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation and to examine the association of an inadequate DSM with adverse events.
Methods: A total of 132,477 ICD Registry implantations between 2010 and 2012 were analyzed. Using logistic regression models, factors most predictive of an inadequate DSM (defined as the lowest successful energy tested <10 J from maximal device output) were identified, and the association of an inadequate DSM with adverse events was evaluated.
Results: Inadequate DSMs occurred in 12,397 patients (9.4%). A simple risk score composed of 8 easily identifiable variables characterized patients at high and low risk for an inadequate DSM, including (with assigned points) age <70 years (1 point); male sex (1 point); race: black (4 points), Hispanic (2 points), or other (1 point); New York Heart Association functional class III (1 point) or IV (3 points); no ischemic heart disease (2 points); renal dialysis (3 points); secondary prevention indication (1 point); and ICD type: single-chamber (2 points) or biventricular (1 point) device. An inadequate DSM was associated with greater odds of complications (odds ratio: 1.22; 95% confidence interval: 1.09 to 1.37; p = 0.0006), hospital stay >3 days (odds ratio: 1.24; 95% confidence interval: 1.19 to 1.30; p < 0.0001), and in-hospital mortality (odds ratio: 1.96; 95% confidence interval: 1.63 to 2.36; p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: A simple risk score identified ICD recipients at risk for an inadequate DSM. An inadequate DSM was associated with an increased risk for in-hospital adverse events.
Keywords: adverse events; complications; defibrillation safety margin; defibrillation threshold; implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; mortality; national registries; risk score.
Copyright © 2014 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.