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Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators: An Overview of Implantation Techniques and Clinical Outcomes

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 1 ]


Bandar Al-Ghamdi*   Pages 38 - 48 ( 11 )


Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) is a significant health problem worldwide.

Multiple randomized controlled trials have shown that Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) are effective life-saving management option for individuals at risk of SCD in both primary and secondary prevention. Although the conventional transvenous ICDs (TV-ICDs) are safe and effective, there are potential complications associated with its use, including localized pocket or wound infection or systematic infection, a vascular access related complication such as pneumothorax, and venous thrombosis, and lead related complications such as dislodgement, malfunction, and perforation.

Furthermore, transvenous leads placement may not be feasible in certain patients like those with venous anomaly or occlusion, or with the presence of intracardiac shunts. Transvenous leads extraction, when needed, is associated with considerable morbidity & mortality and requires significant skills and costs. Totally subcutaneous ICD (S-ICD) is designed to afford the same life-saving benefit of the conventional TV-ICDs while avoiding the shortcomings of the TV-leads and to simplify the implant techniques and hence expand the use of ICDs in clinical practice. It becomes commercially available after receiving CE mark in 2009, and its use increased significantly after its FDA approval in 2012. This review aims to give an overview of the S-ICD system components, implantation procedure, clinical indications, safety, efficacy, and future directions.


Implantable cardioverter defibrillator, subcutaneous, side effects, efficacy, safety, FDA.


Alfaisal University, College of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Zahrawi St, Al Maather, Riyadh 12713

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