Worldwide differences in primary prevention implantable cardioverter defibrillator utilization and outcomes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Eur Heart J. 2021 Oct 7;42(38):3932-3944. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab598.


Aims: Risk stratification algorithms for sudden cardiac death (SCD) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and regional differences in clinical practice have evolved over time. We sought to compare primary prevention implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation rates and associated clinical outcomes in US vs. non-US tertiary HCM centres within the international Sarcomeric Human Cardiomyopathy Registry.

Methods and results: We included patients with HCM enrolled from eight US sites (n = 2650) and five non-US (n = 2660) sites and used multivariable Cox-proportional hazards models to compare outcomes between sites. Primary prevention ICD implantation rates in US sites were two-fold higher than non-US sites (hazard ratio (HR) 2.27 [1.89-2.74]), including in individuals deemed at high 5-year SCD risk (≥6%) based on the HCM risk-SCD score (HR 3.27 [1.76-6.05]). US ICD recipients also had fewer traditional SCD risk factors. Among ICD recipients, rates of appropriate ICD therapy were significantly lower in US vs. non-US sites (HR 0.52 [0.28-0.97]). No significant difference was identified in the incidence of SCD/resuscitated cardiac arrest among non-recipients of ICDs in US vs. non-US sites (HR 1.21 [0.74-1.97]).

Conclusion: Primary prevention ICDs are implanted more frequently in patients with HCM in US vs. non-US sites across the spectrum of SCD risk. There was a lower rate of appropriate ICD therapy in US sites, consistent with a lower-risk population, and no significant difference in SCD in US vs. non-US patients who did not receive an ICD. Further studies are needed to understand what drives malignant arrhythmias, optimize ICD allocation, and examine the impact of different ICD utilization strategies on long-term outcomes in HCM.

Keywords: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Implantable cardioverter defibrillator; Outcomes; Primary prevention; Risk stratification; Sudden cardiac death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic* / complications
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic* / therapy
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Humans
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors