WCD Meta-Analysis

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Wearable Cardioverter-defibrillators for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death: A Meta-analysis


  • This analysis was created to assess the occurrence of sustained VT events in WCD users, and evaluate the use and effectiveness of WCDs among at-risk cardiac patients.


  • Studies included in the meta-analysis, which consist of data from January 1998-July 2017, met the following criteria:
    • Evaluated adult patients using WCDs
    • Provided data on one or more outcomes of interest (e.g., all-cause and VT/VF-related mortality, VT/VF occurrence, appropriate and inappropriate shock therapy, and successful termination of VT/VF)
    • Were full-text studies published in the English language
  • Majority of studies included patients with mixed etiologies (e.g. NICM & ICM)
  • Cumulative total of 19,882 non-overlapping patients

Key Results

  • VT/VF occurred in 2.6% of patients
  • 1.7% of patients received an appropriate shock from the WCD
  • Successful VT/VF termination following an appropriate shock in 95.5% of patients
  • VT/VF-related mortality occurred in 0.2% of WCD users
  • Low incidence of inappropriate shocks at 0.9% of patients


  • This analysis shows a high degree of consistency in VT/VF event rates and WCD treatment rates in publications that have studied patients with a low ejection fraction following a recent cardiac event.
  • Despite advancements in medical therapies and other devices (e.g. stents), patients with a low-EF continue to have poor outcomes following a cardiac event.
  • WCDs are highly effective at successfully terminating life-threatening VT/VF events.


Click here to read the full publication
NGUYEN E, WEEDA ER, KOHN CG, et al. Wearable Cardioverter-defibrillators for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death: A Meta-analysis. The journal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management. 2018;9:3151-3162.

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