Aetna considers Food and Drug Administration-approved implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (thoracotomy and non-thoracotomy systems) medically necessary for any of the following groups of individuals, except where contraindicated:
Members after one or more episodes of spontaneously occurring and inducible ventricular fibrillation (VF), or syncopal or hypotensive ventricular tachycardia (VT) that is not associated with acute myocardial infarction (AMI)]; and not due to a remediable cause (e.g., drug toxicity, electrolyte abnormalities, ischemia); or
Members after spontaneously occurring but non-inducible documented syncopal or hypotensive VT that was not due to AMI; or
Members after VT/VF cardiac arrest that was not associated with an inducible ventricular arrhythmia, and not due to AMI; or
Members with structural heart disease (such as prior myocardial infarction (MI), congenital heart disease, and/or ventricular dysfunction) and spontaneous, sustained VT (greater than 30 seconds), whether hemodynamically stable or unstable. Note; ICD may also be considered for persons with sustained VT and normal ventricular function; or
Members after unexplained syncope, which by history and clinical circumstances was probably due to a ventricular tachyarrhythmia, with either of the following: 1) the presence of reproducible inducible syncopal or hypotensive VT or VF that is not associated with AMI and not due to a remediable cause; or 2) significant left ventricular (LV) dysfunction (LV ejection fraction less than 50 %), and structural heart disease such as prior myocardial infarction (MI), congenital heart disease, and/or ventricular dysfunction; or
Members with ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy* with a history of heart attack and one of the following: (i) New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II or III heart failure (see appendix) with a LVEF less than or equal to 35 %, who are at least 40 days post MI, and are on optimal medical therapy, defined as 3 months of maximally titrated doses as tolerated of an ACE inhibitor, beta-blocker, and diuretic; or (ii) NYHA Class I heart failure (see appendix) with a LVEF less than or equal to 30 %, who are at least 40 days post MI, and are on optimum medical therapy; or (iii) non-sustained VT due to prior MI, and LVEF less than or equal to 40 %, and inducible VF or sustained VT at EP study performed at least 96 hours after revascularization or MI; or
Members with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, NYHA Class II or III heart failure (see appendix), and a LVEF less than or equal to 35 % who are on optimal medical therapy, defined as 3 months of maximally titrated doses as tolerated of an ACE inhibitor, beta-blocker, and diuretic; or
Members with familial or inherited conditions with a high-risk of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias, including:
Long QT syndrome with either of the following:
Syncope and/or VT while receiving beta-blockers; or
Asymptomatic with one or more of the following risk factors for sudden cardiac death:
QTc greater than 500 msec, or
LQT2 or LQT3; or
Family history of sudden death
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) with one or more of the following risk factors for sudden cardiac death:
Documented VT; or
Family history of sudden cardiac death in at least one first-degree relative; or
Left ventricular thickness of 3 cm or greater; or
Hypotensive response to exercise treadmill testing (ETT); or
At least one episode of unheralded syncope within the previous 12 months.
Catecholaminergic polymorphic VT who have syncope and/or documented sustained VT while receiving beta-blockers.
Brugada Syndrome who have had syncope or who have documented or inducible VT.
LV non-compaction cardiomyopathy with either of the following:
Positive family history of sudden cardiac death; or
Impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (less than 50 %)
Cardiac sarcoidosis, giant cell myocarditis, or Chagas disease, regardless of LV ejection fraction
ICD implantation may be considered in affected members with a familial cardiomyopathy associated with sudden death.
* Note: Ischemic cardiomyopathy is defined as left ventricular systolic dysfunction associated with marked stenosis (at least 75 % narrowing) of at least 1 of the 3 major coronary arteries, or a documented history of myocardial infarction.
Note: Aetna considerrs replacement of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator pulse generator and/or leads medically necessary when damaged, malfunctioning, when replacement is recommended according to the manufacturer's instructions in the product labeling, or due to a change in the member's medical condition.
Aetna considers implantable cardioverter-defibrillators experimental and investigational for other indications because its safety and effectiveness has not been established.
Aetna considers FDA-approved subcutaneous cardioverter-defibrillators medically necessary for persons who are on dialysis and have inadequate vascular access for placement of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and meet criteria for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator listed above, and for other persons who have inadequate vascular access who meet criteria for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
Aetna considers subcutaneous cardioverter-defibrillators experimental and investigational for all other indications because their effectiveness and safety have not been established.
Cardioverter-defibrillators are not considered medically necessary when other disease processes are present that clearly and severely limit the member's life expectancy.
Notes: Electronic analysis of defibrillator systems is required for long-term routine follow-up care of cardioverter-defibrillators. Automatic defibrillator monitoring is considered medically necessary. Electrophysiologic assessment is a more complex evaluation of cardioverter-defibrillators, and is considered medically necessary.
Note: Intracardiac electrophysiological procedures performed before implantation of cardioverter-defibrillator may be done as an outpatient.
Aetna considers wearable cardioverter-defibrillators (WCDs) (automatic external cardioverter-defibrillators that are worn under the member's clothing) medically necessary durable medical equipment (DME) only for members who meet any of the following criteria:
A documented episode of VF or a sustained, lasting 30 seconds or longer, VT (these dysrhythmias may be either spontaneous or induced during an electrophysiologic (EP) study, but may not be due to a transient or reversible cause and not occur during the first 48 hours of an AMI); or
A previously implanted defibrillator now requires explantation; or
Either documented prior myocardial infarction or dilated cardiomyopathy and a measured LVEF less than or equal to 35 %; or
Familial or inherited conditions with a high risk of life-threatening VT such as long QT syndrome or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Aetna considers WCDs experimental and investigational for other indications because its safety and effectiveness has not been established.
Cardiovascular mortality as a consequence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT) continues to be a major health problem despite advances in the overall management of cardiovascular disease. Sudden cardiac death kills approximately 400,000 people per year. About 10 to 15 % of individuals who experience life threatening VT or VF recover, usually with an external cardiac defibrillator. These survivors have various therapeutic options such as anti-arrhythmic drugs, radiofrequency or surgical ablation of VT focus, or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs).
Available literature indicates ICDs are now widely used for the secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death due to VF or VT. Ventricular tachycardia or VF can be secondary to a variety of conditions: progression in underlying pathology (i.e., deterioration of left ventricular [LV] function or worsening of coronary artery disease), autonomic imbalance, electrolyte abnormalities or even pharmacological intervention. The ICD is generally accepted as treatment for patients who have experienced an episode of VF not accompanied by an acute myocardial infarction or other transient or reversible causes (e.g., drug toxicity, electrolyte abnormalities, and ischemia). Additionally, accepted guidelines prefer this treatment in patients with sustained VT causing syncope or hemodynamic compromise. As primary prevention, the literature shows the ICD is superior to conventional anti-arrhythmic drug therapy in patients who have survived a myocardial infarction and who have spontaneous, non-sustained VT, a low ejection fraction, inducible VT at electrophysiological study, and whose VT is not suppressed by procainamide.
A number of well-designed studies have shown the effectiveness of the ICD in high-risk patients who have already experienced a myocardial infarction (MI). Schlapfer and colleagues (2002) compared the long-term survival rates of patients with sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmia after MI who were treated according to the results of EP study either with amiodarone or an ICD. They found that the long-term survival of patients with sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias after MI, with depressed LV function, is significantly better with an ICD than with amiodarone therapy, even when stratified according to the results of the EP study. In a randomized controlled study (n = 1,232) to evaluate the effect of an implantable defibrillator on survival of patients with reduced LV function after MI, Moss et al (2002) concluded that in patients with a prior MI and advanced LV dysfunction, prophylactic implantation of a defibrillator improves survival and should be considered as a recommended therapy.
The Multi-center Autonomic Defibrillator Implantation Trial II (MADIT II) was stopped early because of a 30 % reduction in mortality in patients randomized to receive an ICD (Coats, 2002). The 4-year multi-center trial of 1,200 patients was terminated early after an independent board observed that the post-MI patients with impaired LV function receiving the implantable defibrillator had improved survival rates compared to those receiving conventional treatment.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that the evidence is adequate to conclude that an ICD is reasonable and necessary for the following: (i) patients with ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM), documented prior MI, and a measured LVEF of less than or equal to 35 %; (ii) patients with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM) greater than 9 months with a measured EF less than or equal to 35 %.
In addition, according to CMS, several additional criteria must be met. Patients must not have: New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class IV heart failure; cardiogenic shock or symptomatic hypotension while in a stable baseline rhythm; coronary artery bypass graft or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty within the past 3 months; acute myocardial infarction (AMI) within the past month; clinical symptoms or findings that would make them a candidate for coronary revascularization; irreversible brain damage from pre-existing cerebral disease; or any disease, other than cardiac disease (e.g., cancer, uremia, liver failure) associated with a likelihood of survival less than 1 year.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services expanded coverage of ICDs to persons with NIDCM, based primarily on the results of the Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial (SCD-HeFT), a prospective randomized trial to determine whether amiodarone or an ICD will improve survival compared to placebo in patients with NYHA Class II and Class III heart failure and reduced LVEF less than 35 %. The study included persons with NIDCM and patients with ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. A total of 2,521 patients were enrolled, 847 of whom were assigned to placebo plus conventional heart failure therapy, 845 to amiodarone plus conventional heart failure therapy, and 829 to single lead ICD plus conventional heart failure therapy. There was a significant reduction in all-cause mortality in the ICD group compared to the placebo group (hazard ratio compared to control = 0.77; 97.5 % confidence intervals [CI]: 0.62 to 0.96, p = 0.007). For patients with ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, there was a reduction in mortality hazard ratio compared to control but it was not statistically significant (hazard ratio 0.79; 97.5 % CI: 0.60 to 1.04). For patients with NIDCM, there was a reduction in the mortality hazard ratio for ICD therapy compared to control but it was also not statistically significant (hazard ratio 0.73; 97.5 % CI: 0.50 to1.07). CMS noted that the absolute reduction in mortality was modest for a trial with a median follow-up of 45.5 months.
Patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) are characterized by progressive degeneration of the right ventricular myocardium, ventricular arrhythmias, fibrous-fatty replacement, and increased risk of sudden death. Mutations in 6 genes, including 4 encoding desmosomal proteins (junctional plakoglobin, desmoplakin, plakophilin 2, and desmoglein 2), have been identified in patients with ARVD/C. The potential use of genetic screening for desmoglein 2 mutations is for identifying persons at increased risk of ARVD/C who are candidates for prophylactic ICD. Currently, there are no prospective studies of the use of desmoglein 2 genetic testing for selecting ICD candidates. About one-third of individuals with ARVD/C have been reported to have mutations in the desmoglein 2 gene or other associated mutations (Franz et al, 2001), and it is unknown what proportion of asymptomatic persons who have desmoglein 2 mutations go on to develop ARVD/C. Thus, the risks and benefits of prophylactic ICD implantation in persons with mutations of this gene are unknown.
Marenco et al (2001) conducted a systematic review of the literature on the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). Most of the literature on AEDs discusses their use by emergency medical technician or ambulance staff. The authors summarized the literature on use of AEDs by non-medical persons in the home:
Because the majority of cardiac arrests occur at home, several studies have examined the use of AEDs by family members of high-risk patients. Although these studies demonstrated the feasibility of training laypersons (e.g., family members) to use an AED, researchers had difficulty with patient recruitment and obtained disappointing results. There is mounting evidence for the efficacy of ICDs in patients at increased risk for sudden cardiac death. This has limited enthusiasm for the placement of AEDs in the home of high-risk patients and primarily limited the role of the AED in the home to high-risk patients who either refuse an ICD or have a contraindication to ICD placement. However, these studies used earlier-generation AEDs and, given the lower costs and ease of use of the current devices, further study with the newer technology is warranted.
An assessment of AEDs for home use by the Canadian Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA) (Murray and Steffensen, 2005) found: “No prospective studies demonstrate that the use of AEDs in the home by untrained persons improves health outcomes. Further investigation is needed to determine the benefit and harm of AEDs in the home”.
Because there are no prospective clinical studies demonstrating that use of AEDs by non-medical persons for home use improves health outcomes, Aetna considers wearable automatic external cardioverter defibrillators (wearable cardioverter-defibrillators or WCDs) medically necessary only on an exception basis for high-risk patients who meet the criteria for an ICD and who either refuse an ICD or have a contraindication to ICD placement.
Epstein et al (2013) described usage of the WCD during mandated waiting periods following MI for patients perceived to be at high-risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). These researchers evaluated characteristics of and outcomes for patients who had a WCD prescribed in the first 3 months post-MI. The WCD medical order registry was searched for patients who were coded as having had a "recent MI with ejection fraction less than or equal to 35 %" or given an International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision 410.xx diagnostic code (acute MI), and then matched to device-recorded data. Between September 2005 and July 2011, a total of 8,453 unique patients (age of 62.7 ± 12.7 years, 73 % male) matched study criteria. A total of 133 patients (1.6 %) received 309 appropriate shocks. Of these patients, 91 % were resuscitated from a ventricular arrhythmia. For shocked patients, the LVEF was less than or equal to 30 % in 106, 30 % to 35 % in 17, greater than 36 % in 8, and not reported in 2 patients. Of the 38 % of patients not re-vascularized, 84 % had a LVEF less than or equal to 30 %; of the 62 % of patients re-vascularized, 77 % had a LVEF less than or equal to 30 %. The median time from the index MI to WCD therapy was 16 days. Of the treated patients, 75 % received treatment in the first month, and 96 % within the first 3 months of use. Shock success resulting in survival was 84 % in non-re-vascularized and 95 % in re-vascularized patients. The authors concluded that during the 40-day and 3-month waiting periods in patients post-MI, the WCD successfully treated SCA in 1.4 %, and the risk was highest in the first month of WCD use. The WCD may benefit individual patients selected for high risk of SCA early post-MI. The main drawback of this observational study was the lack of a control group. Additionally, quality-of-life data, cost-effectiveness and survival were not available in this study.
In an accompanying editorial of the afore-mentioned study, Zei (2013) stated that “A major limitation to this study is the selection bias inherent in the database used …. Another important limitation of this study is the lack of data about potential arrhythmia under-detection with the WCD … [T]his study still does not quite answer the elusive question of how to best risk-stratify post-MI low-EF patients in the early days after infarction”.
In a review on “Wearable cardioverter-defibrillators”, Adler et al (2013) stated that “The wearable defibrillator was not subjected to such rigorous trials, and it is not clear whether this device will significantly decrease total mortality (and not merely arrhythmic death) in patients with recent MI …. [W]hen the prescription of a wearable defibrillator is being considered, it should be kept in mind that there are no randomized, controlled studies showing that it provides survival benefit”.
The first multi-center randomized controlled clinical study to examine the use of at-home AEDs found that the devices do not improve overall survival when compared to conventional resuscitation methods, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Bardy et al (2008) randomly assigned 7,001 patients with previous anterior-wall MI who were not candidates for an ICD to receive 1 of 2 responses to sudden cardiac arrest occurring at home: either the control response (calling emergency medical services and performing CPR) or the use of an AED, followed by calling emergency medical services and performing CPR. The primary outcome was death from any cause. The median age of the patients was 62 years; 17 % were women. The median follow-up was 37.3 months. Overall, 450 patients died: 228 of 3,506 patients (6.5 %) in the control group and 222 of 3,495 patients (6.4 %) in the AED group (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95 % CI: 0.81 to 1.17; p = 0.77). Mortality did not differ significantly in major pre-specified subgroups. Only 160 deaths (35.6 %) were considered to be from sudden cardiac arrest from tachyarrhythmia. Of these deaths, 117 occurred at home; 58 at-home events were witnessed. Automatic external defibrillators were used in 32 patients. Of these patients, 14 received an appropriate shock, and 4 survived to hospital discharge. There were no documented inappropriate shocks. The authors concluded that for survivors of anterior-wall MI who were not candidates for ICD, access to a home AED did not significantly improve overall survival, as compared with reliance on conventional resuscitation methods.
Exner (2009) stated that most sudden cardiac death (SCD) events occur in patients with less severe LV dysfunction, yet past trials and guidelines focus on those with severe LV dysfunction. Given the large pool of patients with less severe LV dysfunction and a modest risk of SCD, methods to identify those who might benefit from an ICD are needed. Observational studies indicate that abnormal cardiac repolarization and impaired autonomic function, especially in combination, appear to identify patients with less severe LV dysfunction at risk of SCD. Extensive scarring also appears to identify patients at risk. Ongoing and planned studies will better define the role of using non-invasive tests to select patients for ICD therapy. The author concluded that non-invasive measures of cardiac structure, autonomic function and myocardial substrate appear to be promising in identifying patients with less severe LV dysfunction at risk of SCD. However, it is unclear if ICD therapy will improve survival in these patients. Until definitive data from prospective, randomized trials are available it is premature to recommend use of these tools to guide ICD therapy.
Tsai et al (2009) noted that SCD among orthotopic heart transplant recipients is an important mechanism of death after cardiac transplantation. The role for ICDs in this population is not well-established. These researchers examined if ICDs are effective in preventing SCD in high-risk heart transplant recipients. They retrospectively analyzed the records of all orthotopic heart transplant patients who had ICD implantation between January 1995 and December 2005 at 5 heart transplant centers. A total of 36 patients were included in this study. The mean age at orthotopic heart transplant was 44 +/- 14 years, the majority being male (n = 29). The mean age at ICD implantation was 52 +/- 14 years, whereas the average time from orthotopic heart transplant to ICD implant was 8 +/- 6 years. The main indications for ICD implantation were severe allograft vasculopathy (n = 12), unexplained syncope (n = 9), history of cardiac arrest (n = 8), and severe left ventricular dysfunction (n = 7). Twenty-two shocks were delivered to 10 patients (28 %), of whom 8 (80 %) received 12 appropriate shocks for either rapid VT or VF. The shocks were effective in terminating the ventricular arrhythmias in all cases. Three (8 %) patients received 10 inappropriate shocks. Underlying allograft vasculopathy was present in 100 % (8 of 8) of patients who received appropriate ICD therapy. The authors concluded that use of ICDs after heart transplantation may be appropriate in selected high-risk patients. They stated that more studies are needed to establish an appropriate prevention strategy in this population.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator (S-ICD) System (Cameron Health, San Clemente, CA) "to provide defibrillation therapy for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients who do not have symptomatic bradycardia, incessant ventricular~tachycardia, or spontaneous, frequently recurring ventricular tachycardia that is reliably terminated with antitachycardia pacing." The Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator (S-ICD) System uses a lead that is implanted just under the skin along the bottom of the rib cage and breast bone. The S-ICD System consists of: a titanium case containing a battery and electronic circuitry that provides defibrillation therapy and pacing at a rate of 50 beats per minute up to 30 seconds after a shock; a subcutaneous electrode which has a proximal and distal ring electrode on each side of a 3 inch (8 cm) defibrillation coil electrode; and accessories include an electrode insertion tool, programmer, telemetry wand, magnet, suture sleeve, torque wrench, and memory card. The FDA approval was based upon the results of a 321-patient study in which 304 patients were successfully implanted with the S-ICD System. At the time of implantation, the investigator tested the effectiveness of the device by inducing heart arrhythmias. The S-ICD System was successful at converting all abnormal heart rhythms that it detected back to normal rhythms. Investigators followed these patients for six months following implantation, during which time the device detected and recorded 78 spontaneous arrhythmias in 21 patients; all arrhythmias were either successfully converted back to normal by the defibrillator or resolved on their own. The FDA noted that, because the S-ICD System memory stores data from only the 22 most recent arrhythmia episodes, there may have been other detected episodes that could not be analyzed by investigators. The FDA reviewed safety data based on the entire 321-patient study population to identify complications that can occur during and after implantation of the S-ICD System. The most common complications included inappropriate shocks, discomfort, system infection, and electrode movement, which required repositioning. The FDA reported that 8 patients died during the study; however, experts (who were not involved with the study) could not definitively attribute the deaths to the S-ICD System. Eleven patients required the removal of the device, and 18 had discomfort that was resolved without repositioning the device or surgery. At the end of six months, more than 90 percent of patients had no complications. As part of the approval, FDA is requiring the manufacturing company to conduct a postmarket study to assess the long-term safety and performance of the device and to assess differences in effectiveness across genders. The study will follow 1,616 patients for five years. There is currenty insufficient published evidence of the effectiveness and safety of this device (Bardy et al, 2010; Gold et al, 2012; Jarman et al, 2012; Kobe et al, 2012).
Jarman and Todd (2013) described the early phase United Kingdom (UK) clinical experience with the S-ICD. A questionnaire was sent to all UK hospitals implanting S-ICDs. Nineteen of 25 (76 %) hospitals responded with the details of 111 implanted patients (median 5/hospital [range of 1 to 18]). Mean duration of follow-up was 12.7 ± 7.1 months. Median patient age was 33 years (range of 10 to 87 years). Underlying pathology was primary electrical disease in 43 %, congenital heart disease 12 %, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 20 %, ischemic cardiomyopathy 14 %, idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy 5 %, and other cardiomyopathies 7 % patients. Nineteen (17 %) patients required 20 re-operations, including permanent device explantation in 10 (9 %). Twenty-four appropriate shocks were delivered in 13 (12 %) patients, including 10 for VF. One patient suffered arrhythmic death, but there were no failures to detect or terminate ventricular arrhythmias above the programmed detection rate. Fifty-one inappropriate shocks were delivered in 17 (15 %) patients; 41 (80 %) were for T-wave over-sensing and 1 (2 %) for atrial flutter-wave over-sensing. The 11 patients who received inappropriate shocks due to T-wave over-sensing were significantly younger than patients who did not (24 ± 10 versus 37 ± 19 years; p = 0.02). The authors concluded that the S-ICD is an important innovation in ICD technology. However, these data indicated that adverse event rates were significant during early clinical adoption. Important lessons in patient selection, implant technique, and device programming could be learnt from this experience.
In a prospective, non-randomized, multi-center trial, Weiss et al (2013) evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the S-ICD System for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias (VT/VF). Adult patients with a standard indication for an ICD, who neither required pacing nor had documented pace-terminable VT, were included in this study. The primary safety end-point was the 180-day S-ICD System complication-free rate compared with a pre-specified performance goal of 79 %. The primary effectiveness end-point was the induced VF conversion rate compared with a pre-specified performance goal of 88 %, with success defined as 2 consecutive VF conversions of 4 attempts. Detection and conversion of spontaneous episodes were also evaluated. Device implantation was attempted in 321 of 330 enrolled patients, and 314 patients underwent successful implantation. The cohort was followed for a mean duration of 11 months. The study population was 74 % male with a mean age of 52 ± 16 years and mean LVEF of 36 ± 16 %. A previous transvenous ICD (TV-ICD) had been implanted in 13 %. Both primary end-points were met: The 180-day system complication-free rate was 99 %, and sensitivity analysis of the acute VF conversion rate was greater than 90 % in the entire cohort. There were 38 discrete spontaneous episodes of VT/VF recorded in 21 patients (6.7 %), all of which successfully converted. Forty-one patients (13.1 %) received an inappropriate shock. The authors concluded that the findings of this study supported the safety and effectiveness of the S-ICD System for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. The main drawbacks of this study were the lack of a control group and the short duration of the follow-up.
In an accompanying editorial of the afore-mentioned study, Saxon noted that “Over the follow-up interval reported in this study, the subcutaneous ICD terminated spontaneously occurring VT/VF in 6.5 % of the patients implanted (21 patients). There were a total of 22 episodes of spontaneously occurring monomorphic VT and 16 episodes of VF treated. First and second shock success rate was 92 % and 97 %, respectively. Two patients had multiple successful shocks for VT storm. Although these data are reassuring and comparable to TV-ICD success rates, the overall number of treated episodes is incredibly small in comparison with the data on transvenous defibrillator therapies delivered outside the hospital, over the life of the device, that are available for analysis in tens of thousands of patients. Without the ability to remotely collect episodes in all subcutaneous device recipients, it is difficult to know how the learning around spontaneous VT/VF episodes and treatment will occur, other than the old-fashioned way, through case reports and post-approval registries. This is a significant limitation from a clinical learning and safety advisory perspective …. Without remote monitoring capability, it will be difficult to track the occurrences of these episodes in the population of patients who receive the subcutaneous ICD. This is concerning, because the population enrolled in the subcutaneous ICD study were 10 to 20 years younger than the standard transvenous ICD recipient. The age of the subcutaneous ICD recipients indicates that they may be a more active and more prone to over-sensing owing to subcutaneous sensing challenges or T-wave double counting …. Although the subcutaneous ICD is de-featured and exists only to defibrillate, it does represent a major engineering feat for an entirely subcutaneous system. Yet, the most profound technology advances in the past decades, particularly in the case of devices, allow for an enhancement of capability (and complexity) to the backend architecture and a simplification of design features and user interface. The subcutaneous ICD does not encompass these features nearly as much as the transvenous device. In the best of all possible worlds, the subcutaneous ICD will grow and evolve into a device whose design supports the growth of features and capabilities that can evolve with the patient’s condition. This includes integrating wirelessly with other hardware- and software-based healthcare solutions that will enhance the device and the device recipient's overall medical condition. The enhancements will provide multiple reasons for subcutaneous ICD to exist”.
Akerstrom et al (2013) stated that the S-ICD has recently been approved for commercial use in Europe, New Zealand and the United States. It is comprised of a pulse generator, placed subcutaneously in a left lateral position, and a parasternal subcutaneous lead-electrode with 2 sensing electrodes separated by a shocking coil. Being an entirely subcutaneous system it avoids important peri-procedural and long-term complications associated with transvenous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (TV-ICD) systems as well as the need for fluoroscopy during implant surgery. Suitable candidates include pediatric patients with congenital heart disease that limits intra-cavitary lead placements, those with obstructed venous access, chronic indwelling catheters or high infection risk, as well as young patients with electrical heart disease (e.g., Brugada Syndrome, long QT syndrome, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). Nevertheless, given the absence of intra-cavitary leads, the S-ICD is unable to offer pacing (apart from short-term post-shock pacing). It is therefore not suitable in patients with an indication for anti-bradycardia pacing or cardiac resynchronization therapy, or with a history of repetitive monomorphic VT that would benefit from anti-tachycardia pacing. Current data from initial clinical studies and post-commercialization "real-life" case series, including over 700 patients, have so far been promising and shown that the S-ICD successfully converts induced and spontaneous VT/VF episodes with associated complication and inappropriate shock rates similar to that of TV-ICDs. Furthermore, by using far-field electrograms better tachyarrhythmia discrimination when compared to TV-ICDs has been reported. The authors concluded that future results from ongoing clinical studies will determine the S-ICD system's long-term performance, and better define suitable patient profiles.
Pettit et al (2013) compared the performance of S-ICD and TV-ICD systems in children and teenagers. These researchers studied consecutive patients less than 20 years of age who received an ICD over a 4-year period in 2 Scottish centers. Baseline characteristics, complications, and ICD therapy were recorded. The primary outcome measure was survival. The secondary outcome measure was survival-free from inappropriate ICD therapy or system revision. A total of 9 S-ICD were implanted in 9 patients; 8 TV-ICD were implanted in 6 patients; 2 were redo procedures. Baseline characteristics were well-matched. Median duration of follow-up was lower for S-ICD (20 months) than for TV-CD (36 months, p = 0.0262). Survival was 100 % in both groups. Survival free of inappropriate therapy or system revision was 89 % for S-ICD and 25 % for TV-ICD systems (log-rank test, p = 0.0237). No S-ICD were extracted, but 3 TV- ICD were extracted due to infection (n = 1) and lead failure (n = 2). The authors concluded that in real-world use in children and teenagers, S-ICD may offer similar survival benefit to TV-CD, with a lower incidence of complications requiring reoperation. They stated that in the absence of randomized trials, S-ICD should be compared prospectively with TV-ICD in large multi-center registries with comparable periods of follow-up.
Majithia et al (2013) noted that randomized clinical trials support the use of implantable defibrillators for mortality reduction in specific populations at high-risk for sudden cardiac death. Conventional transvenous defibrillator systems are limited by implantation-associated complications, infection, and lead failure, which may lead to delivery of inappropriate shocks and diminish survival. The development of a fully subcutaneous defibrillator may represent a valuable addition to therapies targeted at sudden death prevention. The PubMed database was searched to identify all clinical reports of the subcutaneous defibrillator from 2000 to the present. These investigators reviewed all case series, cohort analyses, and randomized trials evaluating the safety and effectiveness of subcutaneous defibrillators. The subcutaneous defibrillator is a feasible development in sudden cardiac death therapy and may be useful particularly to extend defibrillator therapy to patients with complicated anatomy, limited vascular access, and congenital disease. The subcutaneous defibrillator should not be considered in patients with an indication for cardiac pacing or who have VT responsive to anti-tachycardia pacing. The authors concluded that further investigation is needed to compare long-term, head-to-head performance of subcutaneous defibrillators and conventional transvenous defibrillator systems.
Furthermore, the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines on “The management of ST-elevation myocardial infarction” (O’Gara et al, 2013) mentioned ICD therapy; but not subcutaneous ICD.
New York Heart Association Functional Classification of Cardiac Disability:
Class I: Patients with cardiac disease but without resulting limitations of physical activity. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal pain.
Class II: Patients with cardiac disease resulting in slight limitation of physical activity. They are comfortable at rest. Ordinary physical activity results in fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal pain.
Class III: Patients with cardiac disease resulting in marked limitation of physical activity. They are comfortable at rest. Less than ordinary physical activity causes fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal pain.
Class IV: Patients with cardiac disease resulting in inability to carry on any physical activity without discomfort. Symptoms of cardiac insufficiency or of the anginal syndrome may be present even at rest. If any physical activity is undertaken, discomfort is increased.
Source: Adapted from Goldman et al (1981).
CPT Codes / HCPCS Codes / ICD-9 Codes
CPT codes covered if selection criteria are met:
Other CPT codes related to the CPB:
HCPCS codes covered if selection criteria are met:
Insertion or replacement of a permanent pacing cardioverter-defibrillator system with transvenous lead(s), single or dual chamber with insertion of pacing electrode, cardiac venous system, for left ventricular pacing
Automatic external defibrillator, with integrated electrocardiogram analysis, garment type
HCPCS codes not covered for indications listed in the CPB:
External defibrillator with integrated electrocardiogram analysis
Other HCPCS code related to the CPB:
Injection, amiodarone HCL, 30 mg
ICD-9 codes covered if selection criteria are met:
Chagas disease with heart involvement
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
Other hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Other primary cardiomyopathies [arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC)][ LV non-compaction cardiomyopathy]
Other specified anomalies of heart [Brugada syndrome]
Mechanical complication of cardiac device, implant, and graft due to automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator
Infection and inflammatory reaction due to cardiac device, implant, and graft
Fitting and adjustment of automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator [end of life of the implantable cardiac defibrillator]
Other ICD-9 codes related to the CPB:
140.0 - 208.91
Electrolyte and fluid disorders not elsewhere classified
Anoxic brain damage
410.00 - 412
414.00 - 414.9
Other forms of chronic ischemic heart disease
Long QT syndrome
428.0 - 428.9
430.00 - 438.9
458.0 - 458.9
Acute and subacute necrosis of liver
Other sequelae of chronic liver disease
585.1 - 585.9
Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
Renal failure, unspecified
Syncope and collapse
Personal history of sudden cardiac arrest
Family history of ischemic heart disease
V17.41 - V17.49
Family history of other cardiovascular diseases
Organ or tissue replaced by transplant, heart
Automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator
Aortocoronary bypass status
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty status
CPT codes covered if selection criteria are met:
HCPCS codes covered if selection criteria are met:
Cardioverter-defibrillator, other than single or dual chamber (implantable) [subcutaneous cardioverter-defibrillators]
ICD-9 codes covered if selection criteria are met:
End stage renal disease
Renal dialysis status
The above policy is based on the following references:
Dreifus LS, Fisch C, Griffin JC, et al. Guidelines for implantation of cardiac pacemakers and antiarrhythmia devices. A report of the American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association Task Force on Assessment of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Cardiovascular Procedures. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1991;18(1):1-13; Circulation. 1991;84(1):455-467.
Yurchak PM, Williams SV, Achord JL, et al. Clinical competence in elective direct current (DC) cardioversion. A statement for physicians from the ACP/ACC/AHA Task Force on Clinical Privileges in Cardiology. Circulation. 1993;88(1):342-345.
Saksena S, Epstein AE, Lazzara R, et al. Clinical investigation of antiarrhythmic devices. A statement for healthcare professionals from a joint task force of the American Heart Association, the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, the American College of Cardiology, and the Working Groups on Arrhythmias and Cardiac Pacing of the European Society of Cardiology. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995;25(5):961-973; Circulation. 1995;91(7):2097-2109.
Friedman PL, Stevenson WG. Unsustained ventricular tachycardia -- to treat or not to treat? N Engl J Med. 1996;335(26):1984-1985.
Moss AJ, Hall WJ, Cannom DS, et al. Improved survival with an implanted defibrillator in patients with coronary disease at high risk for ventricular arrhythmia. Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial Investigators. N Engl J Med. 1996;335(26):1933-1940.
Owens DK, Sanders GD, Harris RA, et al. Cost-effectiveness of implantable cardioverter defibrillators relative to amiodarone for prevention of sudden cardiac death. Ann Intern Med. 1997;126(1):1-12.
Raviele A. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) indications in 1996: Have they changed? Am J Cardiol. 1996;78(5A):21-25.
Greene HL. The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. Clin Cardiol. 2000;23(5):315-326.
Stanton MS, Bell GK. Economic outcomes of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Circulation. 2000;101(9):1067-1074.
Eckardt L, Haverkamp W, Johna R, et al. Arrhythmias in heart failure: Current concepts of mechanisms and therapy. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2000;11(1):106-117.
Eisenberg MS, Moore J, Cummins RO, et al. Use of the automatic external defibrillator in homes of survivors of out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation. Am J Cardiol. 1989;63(7):443-446.
Moore JE, Eisenberg MS, Andresen E, et al. Home placement of automatic external defibrillators among survivors of ventricular fibrillation. Ann Emerg Med. 1986;15(7):811-812.
Cummins RO, Eisenberg MS, Bergner L, et al. Automatic external defibrillation: Evaluations of its role in the home and in emergency medical services. Ann Emerg Med. 1984;13(9 Pt 2):798-801.
Marenco JP, Wang PJ, Link MS, et al. Improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest: The role of the automated external defibrillator. JAMA. 2001;285(9):1193-1200.
McDaniel CM, Berry VA, Haines DE, et al. Automatic external defibrillation of patients after myocardial infarction by family members: Practical aspects and psychological impact of training. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1988;11(11 Pt 2):2029-2034.
Schlapfer J, Rapp F, Kappenberger L, et al. Electrophysiologically guided amiodarone therapy versus the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator for sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias after myocardial infarction: Results of long-term follow-up. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002;39(11):1813-1819.
Coats AJ. MADIT II, the Multi-center Autonomic Defibrillator Implantation Trial II stopped early for mortality reduction, has ICD therapy earned its evidence-based credentials? Int J Cardiol. 2002;82(1):1-5.
Moss AJ, Zareba W, Hall WJ, et al. Prophylactic implantation of a defibrillator in patients with myocardial infarction and reduced ejection fraction. N Engl J Med. 2002;346(12):877-883.
Swygman C, Wang PJ, Link MS, et al. Advances in implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2002;17(1):24-28.
BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA), Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators for prevention of sudden death in patients at high risk for ventricular arrhythmia. TEC Assessment Program. Chicago, IL: BCBSA; August 2002;17(10). Available at: http://www.bcbs.com/tec/vol17/17_10.html. Accessed February 21, 2005.
Boehmer JP. Device therapy for heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 2003;91(6A):53D-59D.
Gillis AM, Philippon F, Cassidy MR, et al. Guidelines for implantable cardioverter defibrillator follow-up in Canada: A consensus statement of the Canadian Working Group on Cardiac Pacing. Can J Cardiol. 2003;19(1):21-37.
Ezekowitz JA, Armstrong PW, McAlister FA. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators in primary and secondary prevention: A systematic review of randomized, controlled trials. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(6):445-452.
Bradley DJ, Bradley EA, Baughman KL, et al. Cardiac resynchronization and death from progressive heart failure: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA. 2003;289(6):730-740.
Center for Medicare Services and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee. Implantable defibrillators in the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death. Summary of the evidence. Baltimore, MD: CMS; February 11, 2003. Available at: http://cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewtrackingsheet.asp?id=39. Accessed October 19, 2003.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) (#CAG-0057N). Decision memorandum. National Coverage Analyses. Baltimore, MD: CMS; June 6, 2003. Available at: http://cms.hhs.gov/ncdr/memo.asp?id=39. Accessed October 19, 2003.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). NCD for implantation of automatic defibrillators. Medicare Coverage Issues Manual Sec. 35-85.CMSPublicationNo.6.Baltimore,MD:CMS;October1,2003. Availableat:http://cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewncd.asp?ncd_id=35-85&ncd_version=3&show=all. Accessed October 19, 2003.
Parkes J, Bryant J, Milne R. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators: Arrhythmias. A rapid and systematic review. Health Technol Assess. 2000;4(26):1-69.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Guidance on the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators for arrhythmias. Technology Appraisal 11. London, UK: NICE; 2000.
Connolly SJ, Talajic M. Chapter 1. Summary of the CCS Consensus Conference on prevention of sudden death from cardiac arrhythmia. Can J Cardiol. 2000;16(10):1298-1302.
Noorani HZ, Connolly SJ, Talajic M, et al. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy for sudden cardiac death. Can J Cardiol. 2000:16(10):1293-1324.
L'Agence Nationale d'Accreditation d'Evaluation en Sante (ANAES). Implantable cardiac defibrillators (an update) [summary]. Paris, France: ANAES; January 2001.
Aass H, Hegrenaes L, Heldal M, et al. Implantable defibrillator. SMM-Report 1/2002. Oslo, Norway: Norwegian Centre for Health Technology Assessment (SMM); 2002.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Literature review of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Health Technology Assessment Scientific Literature Review. Toronto, ON: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; July 2003.
Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU). Implantable defibrillator - early assessment briefs (Alert). Stockholm, Sweden: SBU; 2003.
Antezano ES, Hong M. Sudden cardiac death. J Intensive Care Med. 2003;18(6):313-329.
Bansch D, Antz M, Boczor S, et al. Primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: The Cardiomyopathy Trial (CAT). Circulation. 2002;105:1453-1458.
Strickberger SA, Hummel JD, Bartlett TG, et al. Amiodarone versus implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: Randomized trial in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy and asymptomatic nonsustained ventricular tachycardia - AMIOVIRT. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003;41:1707-1712.
Kadish A, Dyer A, Daubert JP, et al. Prophylactic defibrillator implantation in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. N Engl J Med. 2004;350:2152-2158.
Bristow MR, Saxon LA, Boehmer J, et al. Cardiac-resynchronization therapy with or without an implantable defibrillator in advanced chronic heart failure. N Engl J Med 2004;350:2140-2150.
Connolly SJ, Hohnloser SJ, and the DINAMIT Steering Committee and Investigators. DINAMIT: Randomized trial of prophylactic implantable defibrillator therapy versus optimal medical treatment early after myocardial infarction: The Defibrillator in Acute Myocardial Infarction Trial. American College of Cardiology Scientific Session 2004. Bethesda, MD: American College of Cardiology; 2004. Available at: http://www.acc04online.org/ondemand/trials1/sessions.asp?link=R. Accessed November 15, 2004.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Decision Memo for Implantable Defibrtillators (CAG-00157R3). Medicare Coverage Database. Baltimore, MD: CMS; January 27, 2005. Available at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewdecisionmemo.asp?id=148. Accessed February 4, 2005.
Bardy GH, Lee KL, Mark DB, et al., and the SCD-HeFT Investigators. Amiodarone or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator for congestive heart failure. N Engl J Med. 2005;352:225-237.
Goldman L, Hashimoto B, Cook EF, et al. Comparative reproducibility and validity of systems for assessing cardiovascular functional class: Advantages of a new specific activity scale. Circulation. 1981;64(6):1227-1264.
BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA), Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Special report: Cost-effectiveness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in a MADIT-II population. TEC Assessment Program. Chicago, IL: BCBSA; April 2004;19(3). Available at: http://www.bcbs.com/tec/vol19/19_03.html. Accessed February 21, 2005.
Lee DS, Green LD, Liu PP, et al. Effectiveness of implantable defibrillators for preventing arrhythmic events and death: A meta-analysis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003;41(9):1573-1582.
Lee DSY, Green LD, Liu PP, et al. Implantable defibrillators vs antiarrhythmic drugs for left ventricular dysfunction. Cochrane Database Systematic Rev. 2002;2:CD003613.
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death due to ventricular arrhythmias. Technology Assessment Report. TA #089. Bloomington, MN:ICSI;March2005.Availableat:http://www.icsi.org/knowledge/detail.asp?catID=107&itemID=2149. Accessed May 12, 2005.
Murray CL, Steffensen I. Automated external defibrillators for home use. Issues in Emerging Health Technologies. Issue 69. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment; June 2005. Available at: http://www.ccohta.ca/entry_e.html. Accessed June 28, 2005.
Bryant J, Brodin H, Loveman E, et al. The clinical and cost-effectiveness of implantable cardioverter defibrillators: A systematic review. Health Technol Assess. 2005;9(36):1-150.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS). Implantable cardioverter defibrillator: Prophylactic Use. Health Technology Literature Review: 2005 Update of 2003 Review. Toronto, ON: MAS; September 2005.
BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA), Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators for prevention of sudden death in patients at high risk for ventricular arrhythmia. TEC Assessment Program. Chicago, IL: BCBSA; March 2005;19(19). Available at: http://www.bcbs.com/tec/vol19/19_19.html. Accessed September 19, 2005.
Traub D, Ganz L. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators for secondary prevention: Is it worth it in the elderly? Am J Geriatr Cardiol. 2006;15(2):93-99.
Franz WM, Muller OJ, Katus HA. Cardiomyopathies: From genetics to the prospect of treatment. Lancet. 2001;358(9293):1627-1637.
Pilichou K, Nava A, Basso C, et al. Mutations in desmoglein-2 gene are associated with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Circulation. 2006;113(9):1171-1179.
Makikallio TH, Huikuri HV. Association between usage of beta-blocking medication and benefit from implantable cardioverter therapy. Am J Cardiol. 2006;98(9):1245-1247.
Buxton M, Caine N, Chase D, et al. A review of the evidence on the effects and costs of implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy in different patient groups, and modelling of cost-effectiveness and cost-utility for these groups in a UK context. Health Technol Assess. 2006;10(27):1-180.
Alcaraz A, Augustovski F, Pichon-Riviere A. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators [summary]. Report ITB No. 25. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS); 2006.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Implantable cardioverter defibrillators for arrhythmias: Review of Technology Appraisal 11. Technology Appraisal 95. London, UK: NICE; 2006.
Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC). Implantable cardioverter defibrillators for prevention of sudden cardiac death. MSAC Reference 32. Canberra, ACT: MSAC; 2006.
Sharieff W, Kaulback K. Assessing automated external defibrillators in preventing deaths from sudden cardiac arrest: An economic evaluation. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2007;23(3):362-367.
McAlister FA, Ezekowitz J, Dryden DM, et al. Cardiac resynchronization therapy and implantable cardiac defibrillators in left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Prepared by the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). AHRQ Publication No. 07-E009. Rockville, MD: AHRQ; June 2007.
Van Brabandt H, Thiry N, Neyt M, et al. The implantable cardioverter defibrillator: A health technology assessment. KCE Reports 58C. Brussels, Belgium: Belgian Health Care Knolwedge Center (KCE); 2007.
Bardy GH, Lee KL, Mark DB, et al; HAT Investigators. Home use of automated external defibrillators for sudden cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med. 2008;358(17):1793-1804.
Tricenturion, LLC. Automatic external defibrillators. Local Coverage Determination No. L13613. Durable Medical Equipment Program Safeguard Contractor (DME PSC). Columbia, SC: TriCenturion; revised July 1, 2007.
Gula LJ, Massel D, Krahn AD, et al. Is defibrillation testing still necessary? A decision analysis and Markov model. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2008;19(4):400-405.
Liu QM, Bai ZL, Liu ZJ, et al. Defibrillation threshold testing: Is it necessary during implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation? Med Hypotheses. 2009;72(2):147-149.
Das M. Indications for ICD and cardiac resynchronization therapy for prevention of sudden cardiac death. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2009;7(2):181-195.
Exner DV. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy for patients with less severe left ventricular dysfunction. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2009;24(1):61-67.
Ghanbari H, Dalloul G, Hasan R, et al. Effectiveness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in women with advanced heart failure: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(16):1500-1506.
Tsai VW, Cooper J, Garan H, et al. The efficacy of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in heart transplant recipients: Results from a multicenter registry. Circ Heart Fail. 2009;2(3):197-201.
Santangeli P, Di Biase L, Dello Russo A, et al. Meta-analysis: Age and effectiveness of prophylactic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(9):592-599.
Theuns DA, Smith T, Hunink MG, et al. Effectiveness of prophylactic implantation of cardioverter-defibrillators without cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with ischaemic or non-ischaemic heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Europace. 2010;12(11):1564-1570.
Hauser RG. The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: Should patients want one? J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;61(1):20-22.
Köbe J, Reinke F, Meyer C, et al. Implantation and follow-up of totally subcutaneous versus conventional implantable cardioverter-defibrillators: A multicenter case-control study. Heart Rhythm. 2013;10(1):29-36.
Olde Nordkamp LR, Dabiri Abkenari L, Boersma LV, et al. The entirely subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: Initial clinical experience in a large Dutch cohort. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012;60(19):1933-1939.
Aydin A, Hartel F, Schlüter M, et al. Shock efficacy of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator for prevention of sudden cardiac death: Initial multicenter experience. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2012;5(5):913-919.
Gold MR, Theuns DA, Knight BP, et al. Head-to-head comparison of arrhythmia discrimination performance of subcutaneous and transvenous ICD arrhythmia detection algorithms: The START study. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2012;23(4):359-366.
Bardy GH, Smith WM, Hood MA, et al. An entirely subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. N Engl J Med. 2010;363(1):36-44.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator (S-ICD) System - P110042. Device Approvals and Clearances. Silver Spring, MD: FDA; updated November 11, 2012.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA approves first subcutaneous heart defibrillator. News & Events. Silver Spring, MD: FDA; September 28, 2012.
Jarman JW, Todd DM. United Kingdom national experience of entirely subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator technology: Important lessons to learn. Europace. 2013;15(8):1158-1165.
Weiss R, Knight BP, Gold MR, et al. Safety and efficacy of a totally subcutaneous implantable-cardioverter defibrillator. Circulation. 2013;128(9):944-953.
Saxon LA. The subcutaneous implantable defibrillator: A new technology that raises an existential question for the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. Circulation. 2013;128(9):938-940.
Akerstrom F, Arias MA, Pachon M, et al. Subcutaneous implantable defibrillator: State-of-the art 2013. World J Cardiol. 2013;5(9):347-354.
Pettit SJ, McLean A, Colquhoun I, et al. Clinical experience of subcutaneous and transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators in children and teenagers. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2013;36(12):1532-1538.
Majithia A, Estes NA 3rd, Weinstock J. Advances in sudden death prevention: The emerging role of a fully subcutaneous defibrillator. Am J Med. 2013 Nov 7. [Epub ahead of print]O'Gara PT, Kushner FG, Ascheim DD, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of ST-elevation myocardial infarction: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;61(4):e78-e140.
Epstein AE, Abraham WT, Bianco NR, et al. Wearable cardioverter-defibrillator use in patients perceived to be at high risk early post-myocardial infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;62(21):2000-2007.
Zei PC. Is the wearable cardioverter-defibrillator the answer for early post-myocardial infarction patients at risk for sudden death?: Mind the gap. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;62(21):2008-2009.
Adler A, Halkin A, Viskin S. Wearable cardioverter-defibrillators. Circulation. 2013;127(7):854-860.
Lambiase PD, Barr C, Theuns DAMJ, et al; on behalf of the EFFORTLESS Investigators. Worldwide experience with a totally subcutaneous implantable defibrillator: Early results from the EFFORTLESS S-ICD Registry. Eur Heart J. 2014 Mar 26 [Epub ahead of print].
Copyright Aetna Inc. All rights reserved. Clinical Policy Bulletins are developed by Aetna to assist in administering plan benefits and constitute neither offers of coverage nor medical advice. This Clinical Policy Bulletin contains only a partial, general description of plan or program benefits and does not constitute a contract. Aetna does not provide health care services and, therefore, cannot guarantee any results or outcomes. Participating providers are independent contractors in private practice and are neither employees nor agents of Aetna or its affiliates. Treating providers are solely responsible for medical advice and treatment of members. This Clinical Policy Bulletin may be updated and therefore is subject to change.