The clinical and cost-effectiveness of implantable cardioverter defibrillators: a systematic review

Bryant J, Brodin H, Loveman E, Payne E, Clegg A
Record ID 32005001164
Authors' objectives:

The aim of this report was to consider the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for arrhythmias.

Authors' results and conclusions: Eight RCTs, two systematic reviews and a meta-analysis met the inclusion criteria of the review. The RCTs were of variable quality, with most trials having a Jadad quality score of 1/5 or 2/5, owing to the nature of comparing a device with drug therapy and the impossibility of double-blinding. The outcome measure of interest was mortality, which was reported as all-cause mortality in most trials and sudden cardiac death in some trials. Eleven economic evaluations of ICDs for arrhythmias were identified. None were shown to have high internal and external validity. One unpublished study relevant to the UK was identified. The evidence suggests that ICDs reduce mortality in patients with previous ventricular arrest or symptomatic sustained ventricular arrhythmias, in patients who have not had a previous sudden cardiac episode or previous ventricular arrhythmia but have reduced left ventricular function due to coronary artery disease with asymptomatic non-sustained ventricular arrhythmia and sustained tachycardia that could be induced electrophysiologically, and in some patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction 30%) after myocardial infarction. Quality of Life (QoL) data are inconsistent but suggest that there is impaired QoL in patients who received numerous shocks from implanted devices.
Authors' recommendations: The use of ICDs in the UK is increasing, but the technology is still under-utilised compared with other developed countries. Extending the current indications to patients with prior myocardial infarction and depressed heart function would impact on costs and service provision. Further research is needed on the risk stratification of patients in whom ICDs are most likely to be clinically and cost-effective. An evaluation of shock frequency on QoL is also required.
Authors' methods: Systematic Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2005
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Heart Diseases
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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Copyright: 2009 Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.