Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in CKD: A meta-analysis of patient-level data from 3 randomized trials

Patrick H. Pun, Sana M. Al-Khatib, Joo Yoon Han, Rex Edwards, Gust H. Bardy, J. Thomas Bigger, Alfred E. Buxton, Arthur J. Moss, Kerry L. Lee, Richard Steinman, Paul Dorian, Al Hallstrom, Riccardo Cappato, Alan H. Kadish, Peter J. Kudenchuk, Daniel B. Mark, Paul L. Hess, Lurdes Y T Inoue, Gillian D. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The benefit of a primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) among patients with chronic kidney disease is uncertain. Study Design Meta-analysis of patient-level data from randomized controlled trials. Setting & Population Patients with symptomatic heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction <35%. Selection Criteria for Studies From 7 available randomized controlled studies with patient-level data, we selected studies with available data for important covariates. Studies without patient-level data for baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were excluded. Intervention Primary prevention ICD versus usual care effect modification by eGFR. Outcomes Mortality, rehospitalizations, and effect modification by eGFR. Results We included data from the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial I (MADIT-I), MADIT-II, and the Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial (SCD-HeFT). 2,867 patients were included; 36.3% had eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Kaplan-Meier estimate of the probability of death during follow-up was 43.3% for 1,334 patients receiving usual care and 35.8% for 1,533 ICD recipients. After adjustment for baseline differences, there was evidence that the survival benefit of ICDs in comparison to usual care depends on eGFR (posterior probability for null interaction P <0.001). The ICD was associated with survival benefit for patients with eGFR ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (adjusted HR, 0.49; 95% posterior credible interval, 0.24-0.95), but not for patients with eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m 2 (adjusted HR, 0.80; 95% posterior credible interval, 0.40-1.53). eGFR did not modify the association between the ICD and rehospitalizations. Limitations Few patients with eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m2 were available. Differences in trial-to-trial measurement techniques may lead to residual confounding. Conclusions Reductions in baseline eGFR decrease the survival benefit associated with the ICD. These findings should be confirmed by additional studies specifically targeting patients with varying eGFRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • heart failure
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
  • Index Words
  • meta-analysis
  • reduced ejection fraction
  • sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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