Efficacy of implantable cardioverter defibrillators in young patients with catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia: Success depends on substrate

Christina Y. Miyake*, Gregory Webster, Richard J. Czosek, Michal J. Kantoch, Anne M. Dubin, Kishor Avasarala, Joseph Atallah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Background-The effectiveness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy for the management of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) in young patients is not known. ICD discharges are not always effective and inappropriate discharges are common, both resulting in morbidity and mortality. Methods and Results-This is a multicenter, retrospective review of young patients with catecholaminergic polymorphic VT and ICDs from 5 centers. ICD discharges were evaluated to determine arrhythmia mechanism, appropriateness, efficacy of therapy, and complications. A total of 24 patients were included. Median (interquartile range) ages at onset of catecholaminergic polymorphic VT symptoms and ICD implant were 10.6 (5.0-13.8) years and 13.7 (10.7-16.3) years, respectively. Fourteen patients received 140 shocks. Ten patients (42%) experienced 75 appropriate shocks and 11 patients (46%) received 65 inappropriate shocks. On actuarial analysis, freedom from appropriate shock at 1 year after ICD implant was 75%. Of appropriate shocks, only 43 (57%) demonstrated successful primary termination. All successful appropriate ICD discharges were for ventricular fibrillation. No episodes of polymorphic VT or bidirectional VT demonstrated successful primary termination. The adjusted mean (95% confidence interval) cycle length of successful discharges was significantly shorter than unsuccessful discharges (168 [152-184] ms versus 245 [229-262] ms; adjusted P=0.002). Electrical storm occurred in 29% (4/14) and induction of more malignant ventricular arrhythmias in 36% (5/14). There were no deaths. Conclusions-ICD efficacy in catecholaminergic polymorphic VT depends on arrhythmia mechanism. Episodes of ventricular fibrillation were uniformly successfully treated, whereas polymorphic and bidirectional VT did not demonstrate successful primary termination. Inappropriate shocks, electrical storm, and ICD complications were common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-587
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Arrhythmia
  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia
  • Electrical storm
  • Implanted cardioverter defibrillator
  • Pediatric
  • Ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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