Study calls for earlier use of ICDs in patients diagnosed with cardiomyopathy


CHICAGO A study presented today at the Late Breaking Clinical Trials presentations at the Heart Rhythm Society's Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans found that implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) benefit patients with recently diagnosed cardiomyopathy, a disease that affects the heart muscle's ability to pump and can lead to heart failure.

"We looked at this because the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established guidelines that limited ICD use in patients with recently diagnosed cardiomyopathy," says the paper's lead author Alan Kadish, MD, associate chief of Cardiology and associate director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "However, our study found that patients who have a recent cardiomyopathy diagnosis experience comparable mortality risk as those who have had the diagnosis for more than nine months, and they appear to get just as good a survival benefit from ICD implantation as those with a remote diagnosis. Therefore, these findings could help expand the number of patients who benefit from this life-saving therapy."

Details of the overall trial on which these new findings are based have been previously published. The Defibrillators in NonIschemic Cardiomyopathy Treatment Evaluation (DEFINITE) trial showed a relative 35 percent decrease in overall mortality with the use of ICD therapy.

Dr. Kadish was an investigator on the DEFINITE trial. "While ICDs are expensive, results of this trial, combined with those of DEFINITE show that they are indeed cost-effective when used in the appropriate population," explains Dr. Kadish.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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