ICD shocks in LVAD patients are not associated with increased subsequent mortality risk

  • Aswini KumarEmail author
  • Varun Tandon
  • David M. O’Sullivan
  • Edmond Cronin
  • Jason Gluck
  • Jeffrey Kluger



Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) shocks are associated with increased mortality risk in heart failure patients. Whether ICD shocks are associated with mortality in continuous flow LVAD (CF-LVAD) patients is unknown. We studied the relationship of ICD shocks and ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) to morbidity and mortality in CF-LVAD-supported patients in our institution.


Single-center, retrospective study of prospectively collected ICD and LVAD databases. We analyzed data on VA which received ICD therapy in patients who underwent CF-LVAD implantation at Hartford Hospital between 2008 and 2018.


A total of 157 patients were studied. During a median follow-up of 10 months (interquartile range 5–20 months), 48 patients (30.6%) experienced post-LVAD sustained VA. Thirty patients (19.1%) had appropriate shocks for VA and 5 patients (3.1%) had inappropriate shocks. Shocks for any arrhythmia were not associated with an increased risk of death (OR 0.836, 95% CI 0.224–3.115, p = 0.789). Neither post-LVAD VA nor the rate of VA was associated with an increased mortality risk (OR 0.662 [0.329–1.334], p = 0.248; OR 1.001 [0.989–1.014], p = 0.817, respectively). Cox multivariate regression analysis revealed pre-LVAD VA as a significant predictor of VA post LVAD implantation (OR 3.284 [1.584–6.808], p = 0.001). Symptoms with VA occurred in 22 (45.8%) patients, ranging from palpitations to near syncope/syncope. None of the variables including the rate of VA was associated with death or symptoms.


VAs are common in CF-LVAD patients and occur with higher frequency in those with pre-LVAD VA and frequently cause symptoms. Neither VA nor ICD shocks are associated with mortality risk.


LVAD Ventricular arrhythmia ICD shocks Mortality Symptoms 



Left ventricular assist device


Ventricular arrhythmia


Destination therapy


Bridge to transplant


Bridge to decision


Anti-tachycardia pacing



We thank Poojita Shivamurthy, MD (Mount Sinai Hospital, NY), for her initial work in the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Hartford HealthCare Institutional Review Board.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of CardiologyHartford HospitalHartfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of ConnecticutFarmingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Research AdministrationHartford HealthCareHartfordUSA
  4. 4.University of Connecticut School of MedicineFarmingtonUSA

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