October 31, 2017 - AHA/ACC/HRS Publish New Guidelines on the Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator for Patients at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death


Diane Egan
ZOLL Medical Corporation
+1 (978) 421-9637
[email protected]




October 31, 2017—CHELMSFORD, MASS.—The American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) have issued guidelines for the wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) that include recommended use for a wide range of patients at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), including those who have recently suffered a myocardial infarction (MI), with or without revascularization, and those with a newly diagnosed non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), the 2017 AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline for Management of Patients with Ventricular Arrhythmias and the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death is an evidence-based clinical guideline developed by leaders in the field of cardiovascular medicine, representing the broadest formal recommendations to date for use of the WCD.

“Clinical evidence has clearly shown that low-EF patients benefit from WCD protection during the period of highest SCD risk following a heart attack, new diagnosis of heart failure, or other acute cardiac event,” commented Rahul Doshi, MD, Director of Electrophysiology, Keck Medical Center of University of Southern California. “These guidelines highlight the need for electrophysiologists to partner with our interventional cardiologist and heart failure specialist colleagues to implement screening protocols to identify all low-EF patients who should be offered WCD therapy in the early period after a cardiac event.”

Ejection fraction (EF) is the most powerful predictor of long-term mortality.1 Numerous clinical studies demonstrate the risk of mortality is highest in the first 90 days following a cardiac event, such as a heart attack or new diagnosis of heart failure, including high mortality from SCD.1,2,3,4,5,6

“Inclusion of the WCD in these guidelines is a call to action for clinicians to identify all patients who are indicated for the therapy,” commented David E. Kandzari, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research, Piedmont Heart Institute. “By setting this standard in our practices and institutions, we can ensure that all indicated patients are protected during the period of highest SCD risk while we determine their best long-term care plan.”

Extensive clinical evidence supports WCD use for protection from SCD in the early period following a cardiac event. In the WEARIT-II Registry of 2,000 WCD patients, authors concluded that the WCD demonstrated both safety and efficacy in this large patient cohort with ischemic, non-ischemic, and congenital or inherited heart disease.7 A high rate of sustained VT/VF was observed at three months in at-risk patients.7 Following WCD use, 41% of patients experienced EF improvement and 42% received an ICD.7

“We are very pleased to see that these leading cardiology societies have published comprehensive recommendations for WCD use,” commented Jason T. Whiting, President of ZOLL LifeVest. “The implementation of these recommendations into clinical practice will save even more patients’ lives from sudden cardiac death.”

In addition to the AHA/ACC/HRS guidelines, the WCD is included in the European Society of Cardiology guidelines for the management of patients at risk for SCD, including post-MI and newly diagnosed heart failure patients.

On any given day, tens of thousands of people around the world are protected from SCD by the LifeVest® Wearable Defibrillator. The LifeVest is used for a wide range of patient conditions or situations, including following a myocardial infarction, before or after coronary revascularization, and for those with cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure that places them at particular risk. The LifeVest gives physicians time to optimize medical therapy and assess a patient’s long-term risk for sudden death.

To learn more about the research and recommendations on the WCD, visit www.PreventSCD.com.

About ZOLL Medical Corporation

ZOLL Medical Corporation, an Asahi Kasei Group Company, develops and markets medical devices and software solutions that help advance emergency care and save lives, while increasing clinical and operational efficiencies. With products for defibrillation and monitoring, circulation and CPR feedback, data management, therapeutic temperature management, and ventilation, ZOLL provides a comprehensive set of technologies that help clinicians, EMS and fire professionals, and lay rescuers treat victims needing resuscitation and acute critical care. For more information, visit www.zoll.com.

About Asahi Kasei

The Asahi Kasei Group is a diversified group of companies led by holding company Asahi Kasei Corp., with operations in the material, homes, and health care business sectors. Its health care operations include devices and systems for acute critical care, dialysis, therapeutic apheresis, transfusion, and manufacture of biotherapeutics, as well as pharmaceuticals and diagnostic reagents. With more than 30,000 employees around the world, the Asahi Kasei Group serves customers in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/en/.


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2Solomon SD et al. Sudden death in patients with myocardial infarction and left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, or both. NEJM. 2005;352:2581–2588.
3Adabag AS et al. Sudden death after myocardial infarction. JAMA. 2008;300(17):2022–2029.
4Zishiri ET et al. Early risk of mortality after coronary artery revascularization in patients with left ventricular dysfunction and potential role of the wearable cardioverter defibrillator. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2013;6:117–128.
5Weintraub W et al. Prediction of long-term mortality after percutaneous coronary intervention in older adults: Results from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry. Circulation. 2012;125:1501–1510.
6Packer M et al. The effect of carvedilol on morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure. NEJM. 1996;334(21):1349–1355.
7Kutyifa V et al. Use of the wearable cardioverter defibrillator in high-risk cardiac patients: Data from the prospective registry of patients using the wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WEARIT-II Registry). Circulation. 2015;132(17):1613–1619.

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