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Largest study to date finds benefits of ICDs in children
Date:5/1/2008

s can stretch due to activity and growth. Lead failure also requires periodic surgery to replace the wires.

Beruls team is working with device manufacturers to change ICD programming to minimize unnecessary shocks in children and to provide more durable, longer-lasting leads. Children are not an important market for device makers, but they are an important subgroup, Berul says.

Overall, the study shows a benefit of ICDs, but suggests that physicians should give more attention to determining which children with congenital heart disease really need the devices, since not all are at risk for life-threatening arrhythmias. For example, patients who had experienced a prior cardiac event had a higher likelihood of appropriate shocks than those receiving the devices preventively (32 vs. 18 percent), improving the overall cost-benefit ratio.

Berul notes that the current study is by far the largest to date involving the newer generation of ICDs. It confirms the findings of earlier studies, which have looked at older-generation pacemakers and devices implanted only after children were resuscitated from cardiac arrest.


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Contact: Keri Stedman
keri.stedman@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

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