Current Heart Failure Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 229–239 | Cite as

Current Review of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Use in Patients With Left Ventricular Assist Device

  • Jacinthe Boulet
  • Emmanuelle Massie
  • Blandine MondésertEmail author
  • Yoan Lamarche
  • Michel Carrier
  • Anique DucharmeEmail author
Nonpharmacologic Therapy: Surgery, Ventricular Assist Devices, Biventricular Pacing, and Exercise (A Hasan, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Nonpharmacologic Therapy: Surgery, Ventricular Assist Devices, Biventricular Pacing, and Exercise


Purpose of Review

While use of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in patients with heart failure (HF) and reduced ejection fraction is recommended, their role in patients with left ventricular assist device (LVAD) remains controversial, especially with continuous flow (CF) devices.

Recent Findings

Ventricular arrhythmias (VA) in LVAD patients are frequent and associated with worse outcomes, especially postoperatively. Data on the role of ICDs in LVAD patients are scarce, based on case reports or small retrospective series. While the majority of LVAD patients currently have an ICD, it seems that some might not derive any benefit, with additional risks in terms of inappropriate shocks, psychological distress, and infections.


Some CF-LVAD patients are at high risk of VA and hemodynamic collapse; under those circumstances, an ICD might provide benefits. A randomized-controlled trial of routine ICD implantation in CF-LVAD would be needed to clarify their impact on survival in low risk patients.


Implantable cardioverter defibrillator Left ventricular assist device Heart failure Arrhythmias 



Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor


Atrial fibrillation


Anti-tachycardia pacing


Brain natriuretic peptide


Bridge to transplantation


Continuous flow


Cardiac resynchronization therapy


Heart failure


Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction


HeartWare ventricular assist device


Implantable cardioverter defibrillator


Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support


Left bundle branch block


Left ventricular assist device


Mechanical circulatory support


New York Heart Association


Pulsatile flow


Quality-adjusted life-years


Right ventricle


Sudden cardiac death


Subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator


Transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillator


United Network for Organ Sharing


Ventricular arrhythmias


Ventricular fibrillation


Ventricular tachycardia


Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator



Dr. Ducharme is the chair holder of the University of Montreal’s Foundation Marcelle and Jean Coutu and Cal and Janine Moisan for best practices in advanced heart failure.

Funding Information

Dr. Blandine Mondésert obtained a research grant from Boston Scientific and is on the advisory board and of Abbott, Biotronik, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic. Dr. Ducharme has received research grant from Novartis, Pfizer, and Servier and is on the advisory board of Akcea, Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, and Servier.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacinthe Boulet
    • 1
  • Emmanuelle Massie
    • 1
  • Blandine Mondésert
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yoan Lamarche
    • 3
  • Michel Carrier
    • 3
  • Anique Ducharme
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Institut de Cardiologie de MontréalUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Adult Congenital Heart Disease CenterMontreal Heart InstituteMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Surgery Institut de Cardiologie de MontréalUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Heart Failure ClinicMontreal Heart Institute, Research CenterMontrealCanada

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