Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates
VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
 

New Initiatives

Comparative study to track the efficacy and safety of implantable cardiac defibrillators is approved


 Dr. Steve Singh at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center is chairing a VA cooperative study to test the safety and efficacy of implantable cardiac defibrillators. The study will involve Veterans age 70 and older.  <em>(Photo by Robert Turtil)</em>
Dr. Steve Singh at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center is chairing a VA cooperative study to test the safety and efficacy of implantable cardiac defibrillators. The study will involve Veterans age 70 and older. (Photo by Robert Turtil)

Dr. Steve Singh at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center is chairing a VA cooperative study to test the safety and efficacy of implantable cardiac defibrillators. The study will involve Veterans age 70 and older. (Photo by Robert Turtil)

A trial to study the safety and efficacy of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to prevent sudden cardiac death in patients 70 years old and older has been approved by VA's Cooperative Studies Program and will soon begin to recruit participants.

ICDs are battery-powered devices placed under the skin to keep track of heart rates. Thin wires connect the ICD to the heart, and if an abnormal heart rhythm is detected, the device delivers an electric shock to restore normal heartbeat.

The trial (CSP 592) will compare ICD implantation with current standards of care for patients with chronic heart failure who meet clinical standards for pacemaker implementation. A control group will receive the "optimal standard of care" for heart failure, to include, for example, guidance on lifestyle modification and disease management. Those receiving ICDs will receive the standard interventions plus the device. The three areas that will be studied include the impact of ICD implementation on mortality, especially whether the defibrillators can reduce the rates of sudden death in those of advanced age; how well the device's powerful therapeutic action is tolerated in older Veterans; and whether and to what extent ICDs improve Veterans' quality of life. The trial is expected to begin in November 2014 and will last one year. The study's chair is Dr. Steve Singh of the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center.


Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.