Incidence of arrhythmias in a large cohort of patients with current implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in Spain: results from the UMBRELLA Registry

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The benefit of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in patients at risk of sudden death has been established in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) using the ICD models available at the time. However, observational large-scale data on the incidence of arrhythmias in up-to-date ICDs implanted according to the current guidelines are scarce. The aim was to assess the incidence of arrhythmias in a large, current ICD population based on a blinded peer review of the detected episodes.

Methods and results

UMBRELLA is a multicentre, observational registry of ICD patients followed by remote monitoring. Stored episodes were classified by a blinded committee of experts. Subgroup analyses were based on clinical profiles established by previous pivotal RCTs of ICDs. Of 1514 enrolled patients, 605 (39.9%) patients had 5951 episodes after 26 ± 17 months follow-up, being 3353 of them (56.3%) sustained ventricular arrhythmias (SVA), and 13.2% of SVA were self-terminated. Appropriate and inappropriate shocks occurred in 11.6 and 5% of patients, respectively. The 3 years cumulative incidence of SVA was 25% (95% CI: 21–28%) in primary prevention patients and 41% (95% CI: 36–47%) in secondary prevention patients (P < 0.001). Male gender, secondary prevention, and atrial fibrillation as basal rhythm were significantly related to a higher incidence of SVA.


This real-world analysis suggests that modern ICD patients have a low rate of appropriate and inappropriate shocks. The risk of SVA in secondary prevention patients is less than what has been reported in RCTs.

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