Use of implantable cardioverter defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization therapy: An Italian survey study on 220 cardiology departments

Giuseppe Inama, Claudio Pedrinazzi, Maurizio Landolina, Fabrizio Oliva, Michele Senni, Alessandro Proclemer, Massimo Zoni Berisso, Salvatore Pirelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the criteria for the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) and other strategies in order to reduce the incidence of sudden death among adults at high risk and to identify the major barriers for the implementation of quality of care involving Italian cardiology departments in the context of 'Progetto Aritmie Area Scompenso Cardiaco ANMCO'. An additional aim was to evaluate how European Guidelines are applied in 'real-life' scenarios. METHODS: The clinical survey involved 220 centres. An 11-item questionnaire with prespecified multiple choice answers was used. In the specific clinical section, three clinical scenarios were described: the first concerning a patient with non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 35%; the second, a patient with ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy and LVEF 30%; and the third, a patient with ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy and LVEF between 30 and 40%. For each clinical scenario, the centres were asked to indicate whether ICD implantation should be indicated and which diagnostic tests or clinical predictors should be used to stratify the risk. RESULTS: The mean number of procedures (ICD and CRT, ICD alone, CRT alone) performed in each centre was 59 per year with a total number of 11229 procedures per year. ICD, alone or with CRT, was the most common procedure performed with a mean number of 52 implants per centre per year. Concomitant diseases represented the most frequent (>94% of the cases) contraindication. Arrhythmic risk stratification was tested in 76.4% of the centres. Most of the centres (76.4%) stated that they routinely performed adjunctive tests, in addition to LVEF, to identify individuals at higher risk prior to ICD implantation, whereas 23.6% reported that they did not perform any risk stratification. The tools most frequently used for risk stratification (alone or in combination) were as follows: QRS duration on 12-lead ECG (71% of centres), presence of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia on 24-h recording (90%) and programmed ventricular stimulation (65%). CONCLUSION: This survey reveals a fairly good correspondence between the therapeutic choices made by the Italian centres involved in the study and the recommendations set out in the guidelines of the Italian, European and American scientific societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-683
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • heart failure
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • sudden death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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