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Cardioverter defibrillator therapy in the primary and secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death

Edgar Zitron, Dierk Thomas, Hugo A. Katus, Ruediger Becker
Department of Cardiology, Medical University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany
[Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology 16: 174-191, 2012]


Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are the mainstay of modern device-based therapy for ventricular arrhythmias. Originally developed for patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest, the vast majority of today’s ICDs are implanted prophylactically in patients with heart failure at increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias. The objective of this review is to provide a concise overview of current ICD indications and device selection criteria. Furthermore, remaining limitations of ICD therapy are discussed and current trends are outlined.

Key words: implantable cardioverter defibrillator, primary prevention, secondary prevention, sudden cardiac death, heart failure, cardiac resynchronization therapy

Correspondence address
Prof. Ruediger Becker, M.D.
Department of Cardiology
Medical University Hospital Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 410
69120 Heidelberg
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