, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 236-244
Date: 29 Nov 2009

Who should receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator after myocardial infarction?

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Despite a decline in overall cardiovascular mortality, the incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) continues to rise. Patients who survive a myocardial infarction (MI) with depressed ejection fraction are at particularly high risk for SCD. The development of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) has revolutionized SCD prevention; however, despite the current fervor for device implantation, many unresolved questions remain about risk stratification in post-MI patients. This review presents the current indications and timing of ICD implantation for primary and secondary prevention of SCD after MI. Several conventional and investigational methods of risk stratification after MI, as well as current controversies regarding device implantation in specific patient populations, are also reviewed.