Difference Between ICD and Pacemaker

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A transient or persistent pacemaker may be required according to the patient's cardiac health and frequencies of life-threatening seizures and attacks.

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.

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.

Main Differences Between ICD and Pacemaker

  1. An ICD can replace a pacemaker in terms of functionality.
  2. ICDs are used for people who are at risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality while pacemakers are used to address sluggish heart rhythms.
Difference Between ICD and Pacemaker


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.

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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