Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators Have Reduced the Incidence of Resuscitation for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Caused by Lethal Arrhythmias

Michiel Hulleman, Jocelyn Berdowski, Joris R. de Groot, Pascal F. H. M. van Dessel, C. Jan Willem Borleffs, Marieke T. Blom, Abdenasser Bardai, Carel C. de Cock, Hanno L. Tan, Jan G. P. Tijssen, Rudolph W. Koster

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Background-Over the last decades, a gradual decrease in ventricular fibrillation (VF) as initial recorded rhythm during resuscitation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has been noted. We sought to establish the contribution of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy to this decline. Methods and Results-Using a prospective database of all OHCA resuscitation in the province North Holland in the Netherlands (Amsterdam Resuscitation Studies [ARREST]), we collected data on all patients in whom resuscitation for OHCA was attempted in 2005-2008. VF OHCA incidence (per 100 000 inhabitants per year) was compared with VF OHCA incidence data during 1995-1997, collected in a similar way. We also collected ICD interrogations of all ICD patients from North Holland and identified all appropriate ICD shocks in 2005-2008; we calculated the number of prevented VF OHCA episodes, considering that only part of the appropriate shocks would result in avoided resuscitation. VF OHCA incidence decreased from 21.1/100 000 in 1995-1997 to 17.4/100 000 in 2005-2008 (P <0.001). Non-VF OHCA increased from 12.2/100 000 to 19.4/100 000 (P <0.001). VF as presenting rhythm declined from 63% to 47%. In 2005-2008, 1972 ICD patients received 977 shocks. Of these shocks, 339 were caused by a life-threatening arrhythmia. We estimate that these 339 shocks have prevented 81 (minimum, 39; maximum, 152) cases of VF OHCA, corresponding with 33% (minimum, 16%; maximum, 63%) of the observed decline in VF OHCA incidence. Conclusions-The incidence of VF OHCA decreased over the last 10 years in North Holland. ICD therapy explained a decrease of 1.2/100 000 inhabitants per year, corresponding with 33% of the observed decline in VF OHCA
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-+
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2012


  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • heart arrest
  • implantable cardioverter- defibrillator
  • incidence
  • ventricular fibrillation

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