Clinical Research in Cardiology

, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 89–95 | Cite as

Prognostic relevance of new onset arrhythmia and ICD shocks in primary prophylactic ICD patients

  • Thomas KleemannEmail author
  • Margit Strauss
  • Kleopatra Kouraki
  • Nicolas Werner
  • Ralf Zahn
Original Paper



The prognostic relevance of new onset arrhythmias compared to ICD shocks in ICD patients is not well known.


Aim of the study was to evaluate the prognostic relevance of new onset atrial fibrillation (AF) or ventricular arrhythmias (VT/VF) compared to ICD shocks in primary prophylactic ICD-patients.


A total of 622 of 1955 (32%) patients of the prospective single-centre ICD-registry Ludwigshafen with primary prophylactic ICD indication and sinus rhythm (SR) at baseline without history of AF were analyzed. All patients underwent an ICD implantation between 1992 and 2012.


During the median follow-up time of 6 years, 200 (32%) ICD patients developed new AF and 249 (40%) patients new VT/VF. There was an approximately 10% increase of 5-year mortality rate depending on the type of new onset arrhythmia (no arrhythmia 19%, new AF 28%, new VT 36% and new VF 55% 5-year mortality). In a multivariate analysis, new onset of AF or VT/VF was an independent predictor for increased mortality whereas VT shocks and inappropriate ICD shocks were not.


More than half of primary prophylactic ICD patients with SR at baseline develop new AF or VT/VF after 6 years. New onset arrhythmias of AF and VT/VF are independent prognostic factors for increased mortality in primary prophylactic ICD patients. ICD shocks itself, inappropriate or appropriate, are not additionally associated with a worse outcome. These results support the hypothesis that in clinical practice rather the arrhythmia than the ICD shock itself is responsible for a deteriorated prognosis.


Atrial fibrillation Arrhythmia Defibrillation Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) ICD shock Prognosis Ventricular arrhythmia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The ICD registry was approved by the local ethics committee of the Landesärztekammer Rheinland Pfalz. The study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. All patients gave their informed consent for their inclusion into the ICD registry.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Kleemann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Margit Strauss
    • 1
  • Kleopatra Kouraki
    • 1
  • Nicolas Werner
    • 1
  • Ralf Zahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Klinikum Ludwigshafen, Medizinische Klinik BLudwigshafenGermany

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