Use and outcomes of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) after transvenous ICD extraction: An analysis of current clinical practice and a comparison with transvenous ICD reimplantation

Published:October 23, 2018DOI:


      The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) does not require the insertion of any leads into the cardiovascular system.


      The aims of the study were to describe current practice and to measure outcomes associated with S-ICD or standard single-chamber transvenous ICD (TV-ICD) use after TV-ICD explantation.


      We analyzed all consecutive patients who underwent transvenous extraction of an ICD and subsequent implantation of an S-ICD or a single-chamber TV-ICD at 12 Italian centers from 2011 to 2017.


      A total of 229 patients were extracted and subsequently reimplanted with an S-ICD (90; 39%) or a single-chamber TV-ICD (139; 61%). S-ICD implantation increased from 9% in 2011 to 85% in 2017 (P < .001). Patients reimplanted with an S-ICD were younger (53 ± 13 years vs 60 ± 18 years; P = .011) and more frequently had undergone extraction owing to infection (73% vs 52%; P < .001). The rates of complications at follow-up were comparable between groups (hazard ratio 0.97; 95% confidence interval 0.49–1.92; P = .940). No lead failures, systemic infections, or system-related deaths occurred in the S-ICD group. In the TV-ICD group, 1 lead fracture occurred and 2 systemic infections were reported, resulting in death in 1 case. In the S-ICD group, the rate of complications was lower when the generator was positioned in a sub- or intermuscular pocket (hazard ratio 0.21; 95% confidence interval 0.05–0.87; P = .048).


      Our results show an increasing use of S-ICD over the years in patients undergoing TV-ICD explantation. An S-ICD is preferably adopted in young patients, mostly in the case of infection. The complication rate was comparable between groups and decreased when a sub- or intermuscular S-ICD generator position was adopted.


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