Although commonly performed in patients undergoing ICD implantation, routine defibrillation testing may increase complications without producing any improvement in outcomes, according to presentation at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in San Francisco.
Researchers in the international SIMPLE trial randomized some 2500 patients to testing or no testing. By 3 years’ follow-up there was no difference in mortality due to arrhythmia or the failure of a first shock to terminate a lethal arrhythmia between the testing (8.3%) versus no-testing (7.2%) groups, nor did the groups differ in total mortality.
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