Primary Results from the Understanding Outcomes with the S-ICD in Primary Prevention Patients with Low Ejection Fraction (UNTOUCHED) Trial

Michael R Gold, Pier D Lambiase, Mikhael F El-Chami, Reinoud E Knops, Johan D Aasbo, Maria Grazia Bongiorni, Andrea M Russo, Jean Claude Deharo, Martin C Burke, Jay Dinerman, Craig S Barr, Naushad Shaik, Nathan Carter, Thomas Stoltz, Kenneth M Stein, Amy J Brisben, Lucas V Boersma
Circulation 2020 October 19
Background: The Subcutaneous ICD (S-ICD) is safe and effective for sudden cardiac death prevention. However, patients in previous S-ICD studies had fewer comorbidities, less left ventricular dysfunction and received more inappropriate shocks (IAS) than in typical transvenous (TV)-ICD trials. The UNTOUCHED trial was designed to evaluate the IAS rate in a more typical, contemporary ICD patient population implanted with the S-ICD using standardized programming and enhanced discrimination algorithms. Methods: Primary prevention patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤ 35% and no pacing indications were included. Generation 2 or 3 S-ICD devices were implanted and programmed with rate-based therapy delivery for rates ≥ 250 beats per minute (bpm) and morphology discrimination for rates ≥200 and < 250 bpm. Patients were followed for 18 months. The primary endpoint was the IAS free rate compared to a 91.6% performance goal, derived from the results for the ICD-only patients in the MADIT-RIT study. Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed to evaluate event-free rates for IAS, all cause shock, and complications. Multivariable proportional hazard analysis was performed to determine predictors of endpoints. Results: S-ICD implant was attempted in 1116 patients and 1111 patients were included in post-implant follow-up analysis. The cohort had a mean age of 55.8±12.4 years, 25.6% women, 23.4% black race, 53.5% with ischemic heart disease, 87.7% with symptomatic heart failure and a mean LVEF of 26.4±5.8%. Eighteen-month freedom from IAS was 95.9% (Lower confidence limit LCL 94.8%). Predictors of reduced incidence of IAS were implanting the most recent generation of device, using the three-incision technique, no history of atrial fibrillation, and ischemic etiology. The 18-month all cause shock free rate was 90.6% (LCL 89.0%), meeting the prespecified performance goal of 85.8%. Conversion success rate for appropriate, discrete episodes was 98.4%. Complication free rate at 18 months was 92.7%. Conclusions: This study demonstrates high efficacy and safety with contemporary S-ICD devices and programming despite the relatively high incidence of co-morbidities in comparison to earlier S-ICD trials. The inappropriate shock rate (3.1% at one year) is the lowest reported for the S-ICD and lower than many TV ICD studies using contemporary programming to reduce IAS. Clinical Trial Registration: URL Unique Identifier NCT02433379.

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