Who Gets an AICD for Ischemic Cardiomyopathy?

If you have had heart issues in the past or have a family history rife with heart attacks or strokes, you may be a candidate for an AICD. Schedule an appointment with the best cardiologist in Chattanooga, Dr. Timothy Talbert, to learn more.

Ischemic cardiomyopathy is a severe heart condition that can be fatal. If you are prone to heart issues and arrhythmias, your doctor may suggest an implantable device, like an AICD. These devices can keep your heart rate regular and steady and allow you to enjoy all the pastimes you love without curtailing them.
What Is Ischemic Cardiomyopathy?
Ischemic cardiomyopathy is when your heart, a large muscle, is weakened by past heart attacks or heart disease.1 Your arteries that supply blood to the heart narrow unhealthfully and your left ventricle, which is the heart's primary pumping location, is weak, enlarged, and dilated.

There is a difference between this medical condition and nonischemic cardiomyopathy. The latter is usually inherited genetically, and there are four different types: dilated, hypertrophic, restrictive, and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.2

If you've been having heart problems due to coronary disease or a recent heart attack or are aware of your family history and want to screen for possible nonischemic cardiomyopathy, you should schedule an appointment with one of the top-rated cardiologists in Chattanooga, Dr. Tim Talbert.
What Is an AICD?
An automated, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is also known as an ICD or an implantable cardioverter device. This device is implanted in your body to monitor and correct any arrhythmias that may lead to fatal or severe conditions, like a stroke or a heart attack.

An AICD implant detects and corrects any dysfunction in the heart's rhythm by shocking parts of the heart so the syncopation falls back in order. Since these devices are automated, they can detect and correct arrhythmias without a doctor needing to push a button.

There are particular sorts of AICD, such as:

A single chamber and one lead
Dual-chamber and two leads
Biventricular with three leads for cardiac resynchronization therapy

AICDs are excellent tools cardiologists have to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) in patients with a history of heart issues. If you are a patient with a personal or family history of heart issues and arrhythmias, ask your doctor about implantable devices.

The best cardiologists in Chattanooga, like Dr. Timothy Talbert, will know the best course of action according to your EKG results and diagnosis.
ICD for Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Ischemic cardiomyopathy is the most common form of dilated cardiomyopathy and refers to the weakening of the heart muscle; in typical cases, the upper left ventricle.3 An implanted cardioverter device monitors and senses anytime your heart starts to spiral into a life-threatening arrhythmia.

Depending on the type of AICD you have, it shocks one or more areas of your heart muscle with the leads – tiny wires attached to your heart. These shocks, which are undetectable to the patient in their mildest form, regulate the erratic, overly quick, or excessively slow heart rate.
ICD Heart Failure Guidelines
For those patients with advanced heart disease or who have suffered multiple cardiac events, an ICD may be their saving grace. Doctors usually use a tiered approach, beginning with lifestyle and diet changes, and climbing to medication like beta blockers or blood thinners, finally ending at indications for ICD in ischemic cardiomyopathy.

ICDs are usually paired with cardioversion therapy – regulation of the heartbeat with medication and electricity – to manage the heart rate and any arrhythmias from which the patient is suffering.

AICDs have shown their usefulness in helping patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy prolong their mortality odds more than with just medications alone. Sudden cardiac arrest is usually due to ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). VT can progress quickly into VF or SCD, especially in patients with a prior history of heart problems.4

AICDs are preventative in that they help the heart maintain a healthy, regular rhythm while at the same time detecting and correcting any arrhythmias that might threaten your wellbeing.

For VT, the AICD can provide synchronized cardioversion therapy. For other issues, the implanted device dispatches electrical current to correct any unhealthy patterns. The former is said to be undetectable and the latter feels like a strong thump in your chest as it resets your heart rate, potentially saving your life.
The Final Word
If you or a loved one suffers from advanced heart issues, you have options. Expert cardiologists in Chattanooga, like Dr. Timothy Talbert, can guide you through the complicated maze of medications and treatments that can help you live a healthful and fulfilling life with heart disease.
1. Myerburg RJ, Junttila MJ. Sudden cardiac death caused by coronary heart disease. Circulation 2012;125:1043-52.
2. Bluemke, D. (2010, October). MRI of nonischemic cardiomyopathy.
3. Disertori, M., Masè, M., Rigoni, M., Nollo, G., Arbustini, E., Ravelli, F. (2017, October 31). Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator in Dilated Cardiomyopathy after the DANISH-Trial Lesson. A Poly-Parametric Risk Evaluation Is Needed to Improve the Selection of Patients.
4. Morin, D. P., MD. (2016). The Role and Indications of ICD in Patients With Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Undergoing Revascularization.

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