(HealthDay News) — Forty percent of patients with primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) experience improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), according to a study published in the Aug. 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Yiyi Zhang, PhD, from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 538 patients with repeated LVEF assessments after ICD implantation for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death. Participants were followed for a mean of 4.9 years.

The researchers found that LVEF decreased in 13.0% of patients, improved in 40.0%, and was unchanged in 47.0% during follow-up. For patients with vs. without improved LVEF, the hazard ratios were 0.33 and 0.29 for mortality and appropriate shock, respectively. One-quarter of patients showed improvement in LVEF to >35% during follow-up, and there was a decrease in, but not elimination of, their risk of appropriate shock.

“Among primary prevention ICD patients, 40.0% had an improved LVEF during follow-up and 25% had LVEF improved to >35%,” the authors write. “Changes in LVEF were inversely associated with all-cause mortality and appropriate shocks for ventricular tachyarrhythmias.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical technology industry.

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