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March 28, 1994

Transvenous Endocardial Cardioverter Defibrillator SystemsIs the Future Here?

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(6):617-622. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420060037004

The development of nonthoracotomy lead systems for the implantable cardioverter defibrillator has ushered in a new era in the field of device therapy for malignant ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Surgical mortality and morbidity are thus significantly reduced, the hospital stay is shortened, and the cost of such therapy is lowered. Although several problems (mainly lead related) were initially encountered with earlier-generation systems, improvements have made this less invasive method of defibrillator therapy an attractive alternative to conventional epicardial implants. It is rapidly becoming a first-choice approach in the treatment of malignant ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Transvenous leads were used in combination with a subcutaneous patch for effective defibrillation in the majority of patients, according to most published reports, while the number of "transvenous only" systems being implanted has been steadily increasing. A description of currently available nonthoracotomy lead defibrillator systems and a discussion of the clinical results, advantages, and limitations of their use are presented herein.

(Arch Intern Med. 1994;154;617-622)