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Q. Can implantable cardioverter defibrillator cause AFib?

Answered by
Dr. Rishu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 18, 2016 and last reviewed on: Dec 24, 2021

Hello doctor,

Could you let me know if an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator can cause AFib? Please explain.

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Implantable defibrillators are implanted to terminate an episode of atrial arrhythmia. AFib (atrial fibrillation) is also a type of atrial arrhythmia.

The ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) not only provides treatment for atrial arrhythmias but also for ventricular arrhythmias and rate-responsive dual-chamber pacing for the treatment of bradycardia.

The pacing attempts to gain control over the arrhythmia by interrupting the pathway of the atrial arrhythmia and uses low energy pacing, which usually goes unnoticed by the patient.

In cases when ATP (anti-tachycardia pacing) is successful, the patient may not even be aware that they have had an arrhythmia until their device follow-up.

So, the answer to your question is that ICD cannot cause atrial fibrillation until and unless it is implanted incorrectly; instead, it will automatically terminate an episode of atrial fibrillation.


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