Heart Rhythm Society

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 10, 2014

Don’t implant in implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Class IV who are not candidates for either cardiac transplantation, a left ventricular assist device as destination therapy or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Because patients with severe (New York Heart Association functional class IV) congestive heart failure who are not eligible for advanced therapies such as ventricular assist devices, cardiac resynchronization or cardiac transplantation have extremely high mortality, they were not included in the primary prevention trials of ICD therapy. As such, current clinical professional society guidelines recommend against (Class III, contraindicated) implantation of an ICD in such patients.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) asked its standing Quality Improvement Subcommittee, comprised of twelve experienced physicians and allied professionals, to recommend five procedures that should not be performed or should be performed more rarely and only in specific circumstances. The recommendations were identified based on existing appropriate use criteria and guidelines. The HRS Health Policy Committee then reviewed the five recommendations before sending the list to the HRS Board of Trustees for final review and approval.

HRS’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at http://www.hrsonline.org/About-HRS/Heart-Rhythm-Society-Governance/Disclosure-Policy#axzz2ILTZwIkZ.


Epstein AE, DiMarco JP, Ellenbogen KA, Estes NA 3rd, Freedman RA, Gettes LS, Gillinov AM, Gregoratos G, Hammill SC, Hayes DL, Hlatky MA, Newby LK, Page RL, Schoenfeld MH, Silka MJ, Stevenson LW, Sweeney MO, Smith SC Jr, Jacobs AK, Adams CD, Anderson JL, Buller CE, Creager MA, Ettinger SM, Faxon DP, Halperin JL, Hiratzka LF, Hunt SA, Krumholz HM, Kushner FG, Lytle BW, Nishimura RA, Ornato JP, Page RL, Riegel B, Tarkington LG, Yancy CW; American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the ACC/AHA/NASPE 2002 Guideline Update for Implantation of Cardiac Pacemakers and Antiarrhythmia Devices); American Association for Thoracic Surgery; Society of Thoracic Surgeons. ACC/AHA/HRS 2008 guidelines for device-based therapy of cardiac rhythm abnormalities: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines (writing committee to revise the ACC/AHA/NASPE 2002 guideline update for implantation of cardiac pacemakers and antiarrhythmia devices) developed in collaboration with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 May 27;51(21):e1–62.