Long-Term Outcomes of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy in the SCD-HeFT

SCD-HeFT Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The SCD-HeFT (Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial) randomized 2,521 patients with moderate heart failure (HF) to amiodarone, placebo drug, or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy. Original trial follow-up ended October 31, 2003. Over a median 45.5-month follow-up, amiodarone, compared with placebo, did not affect survival, whereas randomization to an ICD significantly decreased all-cause mortality by 23%. Objectives: This study sought to describe the extended treatment group survival of the SCD-HeFT cohort. Methods: Mortality outcomes for the 1,855 patients alive at the end of the SCD-HeFT trial were collected between 2010 and 2011. These data were combined with the 666 deaths from the original study to compare long-term outcomes overall and for key pre-specified subgroups. Results: Median (25th to 75th percentiles) follow-up was 11.0 (10.0 to 12.2) years. On the basis of intention-to-treat analysis, the ICD group had overall survival benefit versus placebo drug (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.76 to 0.98; p = 0.028). When treatment benefit was examined as a function of time from randomization, attenuation of the ICD benefit was observed after 6 years (p value for the interaction = 0.0015). Subgroup analysis revealed long-term ICD benefit varied according to HF etiology and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class: ischemic HF HR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.69 to 0.95; p = 0.009; nonischemic HF HR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.79 to 1.20; p = 0.802; NYHA functional class II HR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.65 to 0.90; p = 0.001; NYHA functional class III HR: 1.06; 95% CI: 0.86 to 1.31; p = 0.575. Conclusions: Follow-up of SCD-HeFT patients to 11 years demonstrated heterogenous treatment-related patterns of long-term survival with ICD benefit most evident at 11 years for ischemic HF patients and for those with NYHA functional class II symptoms at trial enrollment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 28 2020


  • heart failure
  • implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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