Biventricular pacing has emerged as a modality for treatment of patients with heart failure. Combined biventricular pacers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators offer treatment of heart failure as well as protection from sudden cardiac death. However, inappropriate ICD shocks as a result of double sensing due to widely spaced ventricular bipoles may pose a significant problem in these patients. We examined the ICD records of twenty-three patients with biventricular ICDs, and evaluated all episodes of double sensing that resulted in aborted or delivered therapy. In follow-up of 3.7 +/- 2.6 months, thirty-three shocks in fifteen episodes occurred in five patients (21.7%) due to double sensing. Four patients (17.4%) had aborted shocks due to double sensing. All episodes resulting in shock occurred because of sinus tachycardia or supraventricular tachycardia above the upper programmed pacing rate of the device with resultant AV conduction and double sensing of the nonpaced ventricular depolarization. In conclusion, double sensing of the R-wave is a common and clinically important cause of inappropriate ICD detection and shock in patients with biventricular ICDs. Appropriate programming of the ICD can prevent episodes of inappropriate shocks.
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View details for PubMedID 14618060