Primary Prevention Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in Patients With Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy: A Meta-analysis

JAMA Cardiol. 2017 Jun 1;2(6):685-688. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0630.


Importance: Conflicting data have emerged on the efficacy of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death (primary prevention ICDs) in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy.

Objective: To investigate the association of primary prevention ICDs with all-cause mortality in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy.

Data sources: PubMed was searched from January 1, 2000, through October 31, 2016, for the terms implantable defibrillator OR implantable cardioverter defibrillator AND non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. Additional references were identified from bibliographies of pertinent articles and queries to experts in this field.

Study selection: Inclusion criteria consisted of a randomized clinical trial design and comparison of the ICD with medical therapy (control) in at least 100 patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy. In addition, studies had to report on all-cause mortality during a follow-up period of at least 12 months and be published in English. The search yielded 10 studies, of which only 1 met the inclusion criteria. A search of bibliographies of pertinent articles and queries of experts in this field led to 3 additional studies.

Data extraction and synthesis: The PRISMA guidelines were used to abstract data and assess data quality and validity. Data were pooled using fixed- and random-effects models.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary end point was all-cause mortality. Before data collection started, primary prevention ICDs were hypothesized to reduce all-cause mortality among patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy.

Results: Four randomized clinical trials met the selection criteria and included 1874 unique patients; 937 were in the ICD group and 937 in the control group. Pooling data from these trials showed a significant reduction in all-cause mortality with an ICD (hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61-0.93; P = .008; P = .87 for heterogeneity).

Conclusions and relevance: Primary prevention ICDs are efficacious at reducing all-cause mortality among patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy. These findings support professional guidelines that recommend the use of ICDs in such patients.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / therapy*
  • Cause of Death
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mortality*
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic