Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2015
Remote monitoring is increasingly used in the follow-up of patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices. Data on paediatric populations are still lacking. The aim of our study was to follow-up young patients both in-hospital and remotely to enhance device surveillance.
This is an observational registry collecting data on consecutive patients followed-up with the CareLink system. Inclusion criteria were a Medtronic device implanted and patient’s willingness to receive CareLink. Patients were stratified according to age and presence of congenital/structural heart defects (CHD).
A total of 221 patients with a device – 200 pacemakers, 19 implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and two loop recorders – were enrolled (median age of 17 years, range 1–40); 58% of patients were younger than 18 years of age and 73% had CHD. During a follow-up of 12 months (range 4–18), 1361 transmissions (8.9% unscheduled) were reviewed by technicians. Time for review was 6±2 minutes (mean±standard deviation). Missed transmissions were 10.1%. Events were documented in 45% of transmissions, with 2.7% yellow alerts and 0.6% red alerts sent by wireless devices. No significant differences were found in transmission results according to age or presence of CHD. Physicians reviewed 6.3% of transmissions, 29 patients were contacted by phone, and 12 patients underwent unscheduled in-hospital visits. The event recognition with remote monitoring occurred 76 days (range 16–150) earlier than the next scheduled in-office follow-up.
Remote follow-up/monitoring with the CareLink system is useful to enhance device surveillance in young patients. The majority of events were not clinically relevant, and the remaining led to timely management of problems.