Proportion of patients needing an implantable cardioverter defibrillator on the basis of current guidelines: Impact on healthcare resources in Italy and the USA. Data from the ALPHA study registry

Roberto F E Pedretti, Antonio Curnis, Riccardo Massa, Fabrizio Morandi, Massimo Tritto, Lorenzo Manca, Eraldo Occhetta, Giulio Molon, Gaetano M. De Ferrari, Simona Sarzi Braga, Giovanni Raciti, Catherine Klersy, Jorge A. Salerno-Uriarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) improve survival in selected patients with left ventricular dysfunction or heart failure (HF). The objective is to estimate the number of ICD candidates and to assess the potential impact on public health expenditure in Italy and the USA. Methods and results Data from 3513 consecutive patients (ALPHA study registry) were screened. A model based on international guidelines inclusion criteria and epidemiological data was used to estimate the number of eligible patients. A comparison with current ICD implant rate was done to estimate the necessary incremental rate to treat eligible patients within 5 years. Up to 54 of HF patients are estimated to be eligible for ICD implantation. An implantation policy based on guidelines would significantly increase the ICD number to 2671 implants per million inhabitants in Italy and to 4261 in the USA. An annual increment of prophylactic ICD implants of 20 in the USA and 68 in Italy would be necessary to treat all indicated patients in a 5-year timeframe. Conclusion Implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation policy based on current evidence may have significant impact on public health expenditure. Effective risk stratification may be useful in order to maximize benefit of ICD therapy and its cost-effectiveness in primary prevention. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1111
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010



  • Heart failure
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • Public health expenses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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