Background: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients varies by geography but remains low in many regions despite guideline recommendations. Objectives: This study aimed to characterize the care pathway of post-MI patients and understand barriers to referral for further SCD risk stratification and management in patients meeting referral criteria. Methods: This prospective, nonrandomized, multi-nation study included patients ≥18 years of age, with an acute MI ≤30 days and left ventricular ejection fraction <50% ≤14 days post-MI. The primary endpoint was defined as the physician's decision to refer a patient for SCD stratification and management. Results: In total, 1,491 post-MI patients were enrolled (60.2 ± 12.0 years of age, 82.4% male). During the study, 26.7% (n = 398) of patients met criteria for further SCD risk stratification; however, only 59.3% of those meeting criteria (n = 236; 95% CI: 54.4%-64.0%) were referred for a visit. Of patients referred for SCD risk stratification and management, 94.9% (n = 224) attended the visit of which 56.7% (n =127; 95% CI: 50.1%-63.0%) met ICD indication criteria. Of patients who met ICD indication criteria, 14.2% (n = 18) were implanted. Conclusions: We found that ∼40% of patients meeting criteria were not referred for further SCD risk stratification and management and ∼85% of patients who met ICD indications did not receive a guideline-directed ICD. Physician and patient reasons for refusing referral to SCD risk stratification and management or ICD implant varied by geography suggesting that improvement will require both physician- and patient-focused approaches.
- cardiac resynchronization therapy–defibrillator
- delivery of health care
- implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
- myocardial infarction