The advent of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) systems represents a paradigm shift for the detection and therapy of ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Despite advances in transvenous lead technology, problems remain that notably include requirement for technical expertise; periprocedural complications during implantation and explantation; and long-term lead failure. Although subcutaneous ICD systems may mitigate some of these risks, they provide new shortcomings, such as inability to provide pacing therapy for bradyarrhythmias, ventricular tachyarrhythmias, and cardiac resynchronization. Ongoing clinical evaluation and development are required before the role of subcutaneous ICDs as an adjunctive or primary therapy can be defined. This article examines studies investigating the subcutaneous ICD and discusses its possible advantages and disadvantages as compared with current transvenous ICD systems.
View details for PubMedID 28770781