Expansion of indications for implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) has led to a significant increase in the number of patients receiving ICDs and the number of lives saved because of ICD therapy. However, appropriate or inappropriate shocks are frequent and may result in a significant decrease in quality of life in patients with ICDs. Atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response, sinus tachycardia, atrial tachycardia or atrial flutter with rapid conduction, and other supraventricular tachycardias are the most common arrhythmias causing inappropriate therapy. Other causes include oversensing of diaphragmatic potentials or myopotentials, T-wave oversensing, double or triple counting of intracardiac signals, lead fractures or header connection problems, lead chatter or noise, and electromagnetic interference. Strategies to reduce inappropriate therapy using device programming rely on the ability to distinguish supraventricular and atrial arrhythmias from ventricular tachycardia. Avoiding therapy for nonsustained ventricular arrhythmias and increasing the role of antitachycardia pacing to terminate ventricular tachycardia are key approaches to reducing shocks for ventricular arrhythmias. Optimal programming holds great promise for decreasing the overall incidence of shock therapy and increasing ICD acceptance.
View details for PubMedID 18814830