Difference Between ICD and Pacemaker (With Table)

Heart disease is the most common cause of death according to statistics. It’s just so dangerous that we’ll need a special variety of systems to help us manage our pulse rate and avoid physically passing out.

This time, that’s not simply drugs and tablets, because pharmacological treatments for cardiac abnormalities aren’t adequate. Patients with heart issues require stronger blessings of technology. Electromagnetic methods had been used to avert heart attacks and physical heart failures. The medical establishment has been introducing this innovation to its sufferers for more than a decade.

ICD vs Pacemaker

The difference between ICD and pacemaker is that ICD stands for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. It is specially intended to treat myocardial tachyarrhythmias and irregular heartbeats. ICDs have changed the management of individuals with ventricles tachyarrhythmias who are in danger of abrupt myocardial injury or cardiac arrests.Whereas the pacemaker focuses on helping people suffering from abrupt periods of tachycardia feel a bit better since a person with a significant drop in heartbeat might become dizzy or woozy, and even pass out.

An ICD aka implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is a device that requires electromagnetic stimulation to promote cardiac spasm by transmitting impulses to the atrium and ventricles. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, or ICD, is a mechanism that is implanted beneath your tissue, comparable to a pacemaker. There’s also a machine in there that monitors the pulse rhythm of the heart. The big distinction would be that the ICD puts out a jolt to restore your heart into sync if it pumps too quickly or is out of sync. Some of them also function as artificial hearts.

A pacemaker on the other hand tries to help patients with abrupt occurrences of tachycardia and heal the abrupt pulses, so that an individual with a significant drop in heart rate might just get queasy or faint, and then eventually pass out at which stage a ‘heart resetting’ is required. A microprocessor in the pacemaker detects when your heart is pumping too quickly or irregularly. When this transpires, your heartbeat pushes out electric signals to maintain a constant beat and pace.

Comparison Table Between ICD and Pacemaker

Parameters of ComparisonICDPacemaker
FunctionsWhen the ICD detects erratic life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias in the center of the chest, it either uses pumping to fix the rapid pulse and foster a normal rhythm, or it uses a charge (defibrillation) to restore the heart function and forestall sudden cardiac arrest.Pacemakers assist the heart rhythm at a regular speed and cadence by sending electronically devised pulses. Pacemakers could be used to keep the valves of your heart pumping in time.
Invented ByDr. Michel Mirowski,  his research in the 1970s resulted in the creation of the implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).Wilson Greatbatch, an electronics engineer who was instrumental in the development of the first implanted pacemaker in 1950.
AppearanceAn ICD is inserted beneath the epidermis right underneath the clavicle, about the size of a wristwatch. It is made up of a function generator and connections known as leads.It’s a tiny metal coin-like gadget that’s inserted beneath your skin in the upper chest. A microprocessor in the pacemaker detects when your heart beats too quickly or irregularly.
Used forFor individuals at risk of cardiac collapse owing to atrial tachycardia, an ICD is usually required. People with uneven rhythmic heart pumps and occasional heart failure. 
Full FormsImplantable Cardioverter-DefibrillatorPacemaker means the device that helps in maintaining the regular pace of the heart.

What is an ICD?

A tiny electronic device used for heart rate regulation linked to the heart is known as an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). It is used to detect and assist manage possibly serious electromagnetic abnormalities with the heartbeat continually. ICDs frequently include Pacemakers, allowing them to perform all of the functions of a Heart monitor plus a little more.

Anti-tachycardia pumping is another therapeutic option with the ICD for such rapid rhythms. This is a rapid-fire surge that is sent to adjust the rhythm. In rare circumstances, this can be utilized rather than stunning the heart.

A subsurface ICD is a kind of ICD that does not require the insertion of wiring into the ventricle. The gadget is instead placed in the left axillary area. Over the sternum, an ICD lead is tunneled beneath the skin. It can administer energy pulses to treat dangerous cardiac rhythms. It can’t, however, serve as a pacemaker.

An ISD is planted inside your chest cavity in case the pulse of your heart’s bottom lobes, known as the ventricular contraction, is dangerously aberrant, you may require an ICD to assist your heart rate into regular sync. If necessary, a “backup” paced option is available soon after the surge shock has been given.

What is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a gadget that can be implanted beneath the skin in the upper chest. A chip in the pacer detects whenever your heart is pumping too quickly or irregularly. When this occurs, your heart sends out electrical pulses to keep a rhythmic normal beat and pace.

A transient or persistent pacemaker may be required according to the patient’s cardiac health and frequencies of life-threatening seizures and attacks. A transient pacemaker is placed into a vein in the neck and stays from the outside body. In your chest, a persistent pacemaker is implanted.

Pacemakers have been used to manage irregularities in heart rates and heart failure, a disease that develops when the heart is not pumping sufficient blood to the body. A pacemaker isn’t necessary for everyone who has tachycardia or arrhythmia.

The pacemaker insertion is performed by specialized cardiologists, the surgery includes many complex steps and precautions. The pacemaker electrodes (also known as “leads”) will be threaded into the heart by your surgeon with the help of a blood artery. They’ll then make a tiny orifice in your chest cavity. The pacemaker will be implanted right beneath your clavicle. It comes with a cell and a tiny microprocessor. It’ll usually go on the part you don’t use very often. It will be on your left side if you’re a right-handed person and vice-versa.

Main Differences Between ICD and Pacemaker

  1. ICDs are dormant until the heartbeat detects arrhythmia and is only triggered in an emergency, however, the pacemaker can electrically stimulate the heart to beat normally and are constantly active and maintain track of the heartbeat.
  2. ICD was invented by Dr. Michel Mirowski in 1970 whereas the pacemaker was invented by Wilson Greatbatch in 1950.
  3. ICDs are costlier than transvascular pacemakers.
  4. An ICD can replace a pacemaker in terms of functionality.
  5. ICDs are used for people who are at risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality while pacemakers are used to address sluggish heart rhythms.


The two mechanisms are utilized when a person has an arrhythmia, which is a sort of cardiac issue. Dependent on whatever kind one has, the heart may beat too slowly, too quickly, or with an erratic rhythm. While both gadgets help your heartbeat more efficiently, there are some slight variations between them.

When the heart beats too quickly, defibrillators, pacemakers, and ICDs are often used. If a person is at risk for deadly cardiac fibrillation and a heart attack occurs more than three times, ICDs should be administered.


  1. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid=p00234
  2. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pacemakers#:~:text=A%20pacemaker%20is%20a%20small,a%20normal%20rate%20and%20rhythm.
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