Glossary of Terms
Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)
An implantable device that regulates the rate and rhythm of the heart, and implanted in patients who are at risk of sudden cardiac death due to recurrent, sustained ventricular fibrillation (abnormal heart rate). The ICD is implanted under the skin and are programmed to send an electrical shock when it detects that the heart's ventricles are pumping at a faster than normal rate. This shock restores the heart rate to normal.
Although initially designed to regulate ventricular fibrillation, its use has extended to include treating atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, bradycardia, and perform biventricular pacing in patients with congestive heart failure.
Related terms: Fibrillation, Bradycardia, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)