Use of a Wearable Defibrillator in Terminating Tachyarrhythmias in Patients at High Risk for Sudden Death: Results of WEARIT/BIROAD

Arthur M. Feldman, Helmut Klein, Patrick Tchou, Srinivas Murali, W. Jackson Hall, Donna Mancini, John Boehmer, Mark Harvey, M. Stephen Heilman, Steven J. Szymkiewicz, Arthur J. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


The automatic ICD improves survival in patients with a history of sudden cardiac arrest. However, some patients do not meet the guidelines for ICD implantation or are unable to receive an implantable device. This study tested the hypothesis that these patients could benefit from a wearable cardioverter defibrillator. Patients with symptomatic heart failure and an ejection fraction of <0.30 (WEARIT Study) or patients having complications associated with high risk for sudden death after a myocardial infarction or bypass surgery not receiving an ICD for up to 4 months (BIROAD Study) were enrolled into two studies. After a total of 289 patients had been enrolled in the trial (177 in WEARIT and 112 in BIROAD), prespecified safety and effectiveness guidelines had been met. Six (75%) of eight defibrillation attempts were successful. Six inappropriate shock episodes occurred during 901 months of patient use (0.67% unnecessary shocks per month of use). Twelve deaths occurred during the study 6 sudden deaths: 5 not wearing and 1 incorrectly wearing the device). Most patients tolerated the device although 68 patients quit due to comfort issues or adverse reactions. The results of the present study suggest that a wearable defibrillator is beneficial in detecting and effectively treating ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients at high risk for sudden death who are not clear candidates for an ICD and may be useful as a bridge to transplantation or ICD in some patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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