Implantable defibrillators cost-effective for preventing sudden death: "Implantable defibrillators cost-effective for preventing sudden death
DALLAS, April 16 - In the first study of its kind, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a device used to treat heart rhythm abnormalities, was found to be moderately cost-effective for preventing sudden cardiac death, according to a report in today's rapid access Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
ICDs deliver electrical shocks to the heart to eliminate abnormal rhythms such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. In the Antiarrhythmics Versus Implantable Defibrillators (AVID) trial, the device was shown to be superior to therapy with antiarrhythmic medications for reducing all causes of death in survivors of ventricular fibrillation (irregular, chaotic heart rhythm that begins in the heart's lower chambers). It was also a better choice for people with ventricular tachycardia (an often serious rapid rhythm originating in the lower chambers) and ejection fractions of 40 percent or less. Ejection fraction is a measure of the heart's pumping ability.
AVID is the first study to prospectively determine the cost-effectiveness of ICDs for secondary prevention in the United States, according to lead author Greg Larsen, M.D, a staff cardiologist at the Portland VA Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at the Oregon Health and Sc"