An R-wave synchronous implantable automatic cardioverter-defibrillator (IACD) was evaluated in 12 patients with repeated episodes of cardiac arrest who remained refractory to medical and surgical therapy. Seven men and 5 women, average age 61 years, surgically received a complete IACD system. Coronary artery disease was found in 11 and the prolonged Q-T syndrome in 1. The average ejection fraction was 34%, and 6 patients had severe congestive heart failure (New York Heart Association class III or IV). The IACD is a completely implantable unit consisting of 2 bipolar lead systems. One system uses a lead in the superior vena cava and on the left ventricular apex through which the cardioverting pulse is delivered. The second system employs a close bipolar lead implanted in the ventricle for sensing rate. After the onset of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, the IACD automatically delivers approximately 25 J. Postoperative electrophysiologic study in 10 and spontaneous ventricular tachycardia in 1 patient demonstrated appropriate IACD function and successful conversion in all with an average of 18 ± 4 seconds. The induced arrhythmias were ventricular tachycardia (160 to 300 beats/min) in 9 and ventricular fibrillation in 1. These data demonstrate that ventricular tachycardia, not ventricular fibrillation, was the predominant rhythm induced during programmed ventricular stimulation in these survivors of cardiac arrest and that the IACD effectively responded to a wide range of ventricular tachycardia rates as well as ventricular fibrillation. Use of the IACD offers an effective means of therapy for some patients who otherwise may not have survived.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine