Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy is the first-line treatment for the prevention of sudden cardiac death. Despite the demonstrated survival benefits of the ICD, predicting which patients will die from a ventricular tachyarrhythmia remains a major challenge. So far, psychological factors have not been considered as potential risk markers that might enhance the prediction of sudden cardiac death. This article evaluates the evidence for a link between psychological vulnerability, ventricular tachyarrhythmias and mortality and the pathways that might explain such a link. This review demonstrates that there is cumulative evidence supporting a link between psychological vulnerability and risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmias and mortality in ICD patients independent of disease severity and other biomedical risk factors. It may be premature to include psychological factors in risk algorithms, but information on the psychological profile of the patient may help to optimize the management and care of these patients in clinical practice.

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doi.org/10.1586/erd.12.31, hdl.handle.net/1765/72039
Expert Review of Medical Devices
Department of Cardiology

Pedersen, S., Brouwers, C., & Versteeg, H. (2012). Psychological vulnerability, ventricular tachyarrhythmias and mortality in implantable cardioverter defibrillator patients: Is there a link?. Expert Review of Medical Devices (Vol. 9, pp. 377–388). doi:10.1586/erd.12.31