Rationale and Design of the PRAETORIAN-DFT Trial: A Prospective Randomized CompArative Trial of SubcutanEous ImplanTable CardiOverter-DefibrillatoR ImplANtation With and Without DeFibrillation Testing

Am Heart J. 2019 Aug;214:167-174. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2019.05.002. Epub 2019 May 16.


In transvenous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (TV-ICD) implants, routine defibrillation testing (DFT) does not improve shock efficacy or reduce arrhythmic death but patients are exposed to the risk of complications related to DFT. The conversion rate of DFT in subcutaneous ICD (S-ICD) is high and first shock efficacy is similar to TV-ICD efficacy rates. STUDY DESIGN: The PRAETORIAN-DFT trial is an investigator-initiated, randomized, controlled, multicenter, prospective two-arm trial designed to demonstrate non-inferiority of omitting DFT in patients undergoing S-ICD implantation in which the S-ICD system components are optimally positioned. Positioning of the S-ICD will be assessed with the PRAETORIAN score. The PRAETORIAN score is developed to systematically evaluate implant position of the S-ICD system components which determine the defibrillation threshold on post-operative chest X-ray. A total of 965 patients, scheduled to undergo a de novo S-ICD implantation without contra-indications for either DFT strategy, will be randomized to either standard of care S-ICD implantation with DFT, or S-ICD implantation without DFT but with evaluation of the implant position using the PRAETORIAN score. The study is powered to claim non-inferiority of S-ICD implantation without DFT in de novo S-ICD patients in respect to the primary endpoint of first shock efficacy in spontaneous arrhythmia episodes. Patients with a high PRAETORIAN score (≥90) in the interventional arm of this study will undergo DFT according to the same DFT protocol as in the control arm. CONCLUSION: The PRAETORIAN-DFT trial is a randomized trial that aims to gain scientific evidence to safely omit a routine DFT after S-ICD implantation in patients with correct device positioning.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03495297.

Publication types

  • Equivalence Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Electric Countershock / adverse effects*
  • Equipment Safety*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Patient Selection
  • Prospective Studies

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03495297