Harvard Heart Letter

Who needs an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

Thousands of people receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillators each year, but not everyone who receives the device really needs it, and some people would be better off pursuing other treatment avenues. Two studies showed that 13% of people who receive ICDs may not need them, at least not according to the strict criteria outlined in professional guidelines. Here is a summary of the most current national guidelines on who does, who might, and who doesn't need an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). 
To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »