Syncope in ICD recipients: a single centre experience

Parisha Khan, Karshana Selvarajah, Sheena Gohel, Baldeep S. Sidhu, Antonio Cannatà, Daniel I. Bromage, Theresa McDonagh, Francis Murgatroyd, Paul A. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS: There is little evidence of the impact of syncope in implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) patients in routine community hospital care. This single-centre retrospective study sought to evaluate the incidence and prognostic significance of syncope in consecutive ICD patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data were collected on consecutive patients undergoing first ICD implantation between January 2009 and December 2019. The primary endpoints were the first occurrence of all-cause syncope, all-cause mortality, and all-cause hospitalization. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to identify risk factors associated with syncope and to analyse the subsequent risk of mortality and hospitalization. 1003 patients (58% primary prevention) were included in the final analysis. During a mean follow-up of 1519 ± 1055 days, 106 (10.6%) experienced syncope, 304 died (30.3%), and 477 (47.5%) were hospitalized for any cause. In an analysis adjusted for baseline variables, the first occurrence of syncope was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality (HR 2.82, P < 0.001) and the first occurrence of hospitalization (HR 2.46, P = 0.002). CONCLUSION: Syncope in ICD recipients is common and associated with a poor prognosis irrespective of baseline variables and ICD programming. The occurrence of syncope is associated with a significant increase in the risk of mortality and hospitalization.


  • Hospital admission
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Programming
  • Shocks
  • Syncope


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