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HRS: ICD Reliability and Battery Life Has Improved

Study shows current ICDs last 26 to 36 percent longer than 2001-2003 models

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- The longevity and reliability of implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, have significantly improved since 2001, according to a study presented at the Heart Rhythm Society's 28th Annual Scientific Sessions in Denver.

Robert G. Hauser, M.D., of the Minneapolis Heart Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., and colleagues prospectively collected ICD pulse generator information from nine centers between 2004 and 2006, which included dates of implant, battery replacement and cause of failure, to determine how their performance has changed since 2001-2003. These authors previously reported that ICD performance was adversely affected by battery failures.

The investigators found that dual chamber ICDs in 2004-2006 lasted about 26 percent longer than early models, while single chamber devices lasted 36 percent longer. The devices last between four and five years. Fewer devices failed or delivered inappropriate shocks in the 2004-2006 period than in the earlier periods.

"While more progress in ICD pulse generator longevity is needed, our experience indicates that the clinical performance of all ICD pulse generator types has improved continuously," the authors write. "These observations also suggest that contemporary ICD pulse generators are reliable and infrequently fail unexpectedly."

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