News | June 17, 2010

Shock-Reducing Defibrillators to be Released in Europe

June 17, 2010 – The Protecta portfolio of defibrillators will soon be available in Europe. Medtronic Inc. today announced the European launch of the Protecta portfolio of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillators (CRT-Ds).

The implantable defibrillators feature Medtronic-exclusive SmartShock Technology, comprised of six advanced shock-reduction algorithms that can significantly reduce inappropriate shocks. Findings from the Virtual ICD study statistical model predicted 98 percent of studied patients with SmartShock Technology would be free of inappropriate shocks one year after implant and 92 percent at five years post-implant. [1] These data were presented at Cardiostim 2010, the 17th World Congress in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiac Techniques.

“Reducing inappropriate shocks is a top priority for physicians, which in turn can help improve the quality of life for implantable defibrillator patients,” said Angelo Auricchio, Ph.D., professor with Cardiocentro Ticino in Lugano, Switzerland. “This advanced technology will give my patients peace of mind that their device is designed to recognize life-threatening arrhythmias and deliver life-saving shock therapy only when needed to save their life.”

ICDs and CRT-Ds are designed to provide painless pacing or life-saving shock therapy to stop fast or irregular heartbeats, also known as ventricular arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death kills more people each year than lung cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. [2, 3] Medtronic estimates that more than 70,000 lives worldwide have been saved by implantable defibrillators during the last five years.

While the majority of life-saving shocks are appropriate, studies estimate that approximately 20 percent of patients with implantable defibrillators may experience inappropriate shocks within about three years of implant in response to a non-lethal arrhythmia or electrical noise within the device system. [4, 5] New Medtronic data released at Cardiostim from the Managed Ventricular Pacing (MVP) trial show that 24 percent of patients who received painless anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) to terminate a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia visited the hospital, clinic or emergency room at least once within three days of receiving therapy, versus 56 percent of patients who were treated with appropriate shock therapy, and 61 percent of patients who received an inappropriate shock. This shows shock therapy may correlate with greater health care utilization as compared to ATP.

For more information:


1. Volosin et. al. "Virtual ICD: A Model to Evaluate Shock Reduction Strategies." Heart Rhythm. Vol. 7, N. 5, May supplement 2010. (PO3-125).
2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures. 2006.
3. CIA. The World Fact Book - Rank Order - HIV/AIDS - deaths. Available at
4. Kadish, A., Dyer, A., Daubert, J.P., et al, for the Defibrillators in Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Treatment Evaluation (DEFINITE) Investigators. “Prophylactic defibrillator implantation in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.” New England Journal of Medicine. May 20, 2004;350(21):2151-2158.
5. Poole, J.E., et al. Prognostic Importance of Defibrillator Shocks in Patients with Heart Failure. New England Journal of Medicine 2008;359:1009-17.

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