Risk Markers and Appropriate Implantable Defibrillator Therapy in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2016 Mar;39(3):291-301. doi: 10.1111/pace.12801. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


Background: Risk stratification of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is mainly based on evaluations from patients at highly specialized centers.

Aim: To evaluate risk markers for appropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy in an unselected, nationwide cohort of HCM.

Methods: Patients with an ICD due to HCM were identified from the Swedish ICD Registry since its start in 1995, merged with Patient Register data, and medical records were retrieved. Risk markers for ventricular arrhythmias leading to appropriate ICD therapy were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard ratio (HR).

Results: Of 321 patients (70.1% males), at least one appropriate therapy occurred in 77 (24.0%) during a mean follow-up of 5.4 years (5.3% per year; primary prevention 4.5%, secondary prevention 7.0%). Cumulative incidences at 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years were 8.1%, 15.3%, and 21.3%, respectively. Cardioversion effectively restored rhythm in 52% of the first episode and antitachycardia pacing was sufficient in the remaining. For the whole cohort, ejection fraction (EF) <50% (HR 2.63; P < 0.001) was associated with appropriate ICD therapy. In primary prevention, patients with established risk markers experienced appropriate therapy; atrial fibrillation (AF; HR 2.54; P = 0.010), EF < 50% (HR 2.78; P = 0.004), and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (HR 1.80; P = 0.109) had the highest HR, and wall thickness ≥ 30 mm, syncope, exercise blood pressure response, or family history of SCD had weaker associations.

Conclusion: ICD therapy successfully terminates ventricular arrhythmias in HCM. In addition to conventional risk markers, a history of AF or EF < 50% may be considered in risk stratification.

Keywords: epidemiology; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; implantable cardioverter defibrillator; risk stratification; sudden death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / mortality*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / therapy*
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Defibrillators, Implantable / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Registries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / mortality*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome