Predictors of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Use in Patients with Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

Ryan Kelly 1, Karen J Buth 1, Olivier Heimrath 1, Magdy Basta 2, Jean-Francois Legare1, *
1 Departments of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
2 Departments of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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© Kelly et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the New Halifax Infirmary, Division of Cardiac Surgery, 1796 Summer St. Rm 2269, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3A7; Tel: (902) 473-3808; Fax: (902) 473-4448; E-mail:



The objective of this study was to identify and examine ICD utilization in a large group of eligible coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients with impaired left ventricular function.


We conducted a retrospective study of ICD eligible patients who had previously undergone CABG surgery between March 1, 1995 and June 30, 2008 at a single tertiary care institution. All patients with a pre-operative left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤ 35% were considered ICD eligible. The events of interest were ICD implantation and mortality, based on administrative data linkage.


A total of 1,169 out of 11,931 CABG patients operated on during the same period had LVEF ≤ 35% and were defined as ICD eligible (mean EF = 27.3% +/- 6.4%). Of these eligible patients, only 101 received an ICD during follow-up (8.6%). The median time to implant was 255 days (14-1078). The single variable that independently predicted eventual ICD implantation was a history of arrhythmia (OR = 7.4; CI, 4.4-12.2). The variables that predicted not having an ICD implanted during follow-up included the need for urgent CABG (OR = 0.5; CI, 0.2-0.9), age > 70 years (OR = 0.5; CI, 0.3-0.8), female gender (OR = 0.2; CI,0.1-0.6), or having chronic obstructive lung disease (OR = 0.5; CI,0.3-0.8). As a data validation step, a series of consecutive patient records were reviewed (n=80) showing that fewer than 23% underwent appropriate follow-up EF assessment post revascularization.


Our findings suggest that CABG patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy have low rates of ICD utilization. This is particularly evident among females and elderly patients. Furthermore our data suggests that few patients post-revascularization undergo follow-up EF assessment despite current guidelines likely contributing to the low rates of ICD utilization.

Keywords: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, left ventricular ejection fraction, coronary artery bypass graft, arrhythmia.