Head-to-head comparison of arrhythmia discrimination performance of subcutaneous and transvenous ICD arrhythmia detection algorithms: The START study

Michael R. Gold*, Dominic A. Theuns, Bradley Paul Knight, J. Lacy Sturdivant, Rick Sanghera, Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, Mark A. Wood, Martin C. Burke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Arrhythmia Detection with S-ICD Versus Transvenous ICDs. Background: The development of a totally subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) system requires a new approach for arrhythmia detection. To evaluate arrhythmia discrimination of one such system, the Subcutaneous versus Transvenous Arrhythmia Recognition Testing (START) study was designed as a prospective, multicenter trial comparing simulated sensing performances of the S-ICD system with single- (SC-TV) and dual-chamber transvenous (DC-TV) implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) systems. Methods: At ICD implantation, induced ventricular and atrial arrhythmias were recorded simultaneously in transvenous (right ventricular [RV]→superior vena cava [SVC]+ Coil) and cutaneous electrode configurations. Recorded signals of ventricular (n = 46) and atrial arrhythmias (n = 50) with ventricular rates >170 bpm from 64 patients were used to compare detection performance of the S-ICD system with TV-ICD systems from 3 manufacturers. Appropriate detection of ventricular tachyarrhythmias was assessed with devices programmed in single-zone (rate ≥170 bpm) and dual-zone configurations (ventricular fibrillation ≥240 bpm; ventricular tachycardia ≥170 bpm). S-ICD specificity performance for supraventricular arrhythmias was compared to single- and dual-chamber devices in a dual-zone configuration. Results: Appropriate detection of ventricular tachyarrhythmias for subcutaneous and TV devices in single- and dual-zone configurations was 100% and >99%, respectively. Specificity for supraventricular arrhythmias was significantly better for the S-ICD system compared to 2 of 3 TV systems, as well as the composite of TV devices (98.0%[S-ICD] vs 76.7%[SC-TV range: 64.0-92.0%] vs 68.0%[DC-TV range: 32.7-89.8%; P < 0.001]). Conclusion: Appropriate ventricular arrhythmia detection is excellent for all ICD systems evaluated; however, specificity of supraventricular arrhythmia discrimination by the S-ICD system is better than discrimination by 2 of 3 TV systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • ICD
  • S-ICD
  • arrhythmias
  • atrial fibrillation
  • discrimination
  • subcutaneous
  • ventricular fibrillation
  • ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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