Since the first clinical use of implantable defibrillator in human, the technology and the function of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) have been much improved and now, ICD can be implanted within the chest wall. ICD is the most reliable therapy to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) in patients with documented VT/VF and the efficacy is most clear in patients with depressed heart function. It is now extended as a tool of the primary prevention of SCD in high risk patients after myocardial infarction. However, such beneficial effect is not applicable to DCM though patients might have depressed heart function. ICD is not free from procedure- or device-related problems which need to be resolved. From unknown causes, VT/VF might recur in an incessant form and an emergency admission is needed. Therefore, even during ICD therapy, patients often require antiarrhythmic drugs or catheter ablation.
2004 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine