INTRODUCTION: Atrial tachycardia/fibrillation (AT/AF) episodes are common in implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) recipients and can be undetected by standard single-chamber devices. This study aims to explore whether a single-lead ICD with an atrial dipole (ICD DX; BIOTRONIK SE & Co, Berlin, Germany) could improve the AT/AF diagnosis and management as compared to standard ICD (ICD VR).
METHODS AND RESULTS: We selected patients without AT/AF history from the THINGS registry which included consecutive patients implanted with ICD for standard indications. The ICD VR and the ICD DX groups included 236 (62.8%) and 140 (37.2%) patients, respectively, and had no significant differences in baseline characteristics. During a median follow-up of 27 months, there were 7 AT/AF diagnoses in the ICD VR and 18 in the ICD DX group. The 2-year incidence of AT/AF diagnosis was 3.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6%-9.6%) for the ICD VR and 11.4% (95% CI: 6.8%-18.9%) for the ICD DX group (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 3.85 [95% CI: 1.58-9.41]; P = .003). Initiation of oral anticoagulation (OAC) due to AT/AF diagnosis was reported in 15 patients. The 2-year incidence of OAC onset was 3.6% (95% CI: 1.6%-7.8%) for the ICD VR and 6.3% (95% CI: 3.0%-12.7%) for ICD DX group (adjusted HR: 1.99 [95% CI: 0.72-5.56]; P = .184).
CONCLUSION: We observed that atrial sensing capability in single-chamber ICD patients without evidence of atrial arrhythmias at implant is associated with a greater likelihood of detecting AT/AF episodes. The management of these diagnosed arrhythmias often led to clinical interventions, mainly represented by initiation of OAC therapy.