Safe and effective use of conscious sedation for defibrillation threshold testing during ICD implantation

Ahmed Al Fagih, Hitham Al Shurafa, Saleh Al Ghamdi, Khaled Dagriri, Ayman Al Khadra

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Over a period of years general anesthesia has been a standard anesthetic technique for defibrillation threshold (DFT) testing at the time of implant. DFT testing without general anesthesia cover has gained limited acceptance. Use of local anesthesia combined with deep sedation for DFT testing might facilitate and simplify these procedures by reducing the procedural time, staff time, avoiding inefficient service in organizing anesthetic cover; thereby improving patient compliance. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate feasibility, safety and efficacy of conscious sedation for DFT testing during Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) implantation. Method: Data of 87 non-selected patients who achieved adequate sedation with titrated doses of midazolam and pethidine were analyzed retrospectively. These medications were administered by a circulating nurse under the supervision of the implanting physicians. All hemodynamic measures, treatment and complications were monitored and recorded throughout the procedure. Results: A retrospective analysis of data from 87 patients who underwent ICD implantation and DFT testing under conscious sedation at our center was reported. The mean dose of midazolam and pethidine administered was 4.9 ± 1.8 and 47.7 ± 20. mg, respectively. During the period of conscious sedation, no patient depicted episode of sustained apnea. No major complication or mortality was reported. Conclusion: Use of conscious sedation as an alternative to the use of general anesthesia for DFT testing during ICD implantation is found to be feasible, safe and effective, with an added advantage of reduced procedural time and improved patient compliance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Saudi Heart Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Conscious sedation
  • Defibrillation threshold testing
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators


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