Objectives This study evaluated the impact of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) on mortality in patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies. Background The burden of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with LVADs is high. Prior studies assessing the impact of ICD on survival of patients with LVADs have yielded conflicting results. Methods Relevant studies from January 2000 through October 2015 were identified in the databases PubMed and OVID. Weighted relative risks were estimated using random effects meta-analysis techniques. Results Six observational studies (n = 937) were included. Patients were 53 ± 12 years of age, and 80% were male. Bridge-to-transplantation was the indication for LVAD use in 93% of the patients. A continuous-flow (CF) LVAD was present in 39% of patients. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 16 ± 6%. An ICD was present in 355 patients (38%). During a mean follow-up of 7 months, 241 patients (26%) died (16% in the ICD group vs. 32% in the no-ICD group). Presence of an ICD was associated with a 39% relative risk reduction in all-cause mortality (RR: 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.46 to 0.82; p < 0.01). Among subgroup of patients with CF-LVAD (n = 361), ICD use was associated with a statistically nonsignificant trend toward improved survival (RR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.51 to 1.12; p = 0.17). Conclusions ICD use was associated with a significant reduction in mortality in LVAD patients, however, this effect was not significant in patients with CF-LVADs. Although these data support the use of ICDs, larger randomized trial data are strongly warranted to evaluate ICD effectiveness in patients with current generation LVADs.
- implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
- left ventricular assist device
- systematic review