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Remote monitoring for heart failure using implantable devices: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials

  • Hajduczok, Alexander G.1
  • Muallem, Samer N.1
  • Nudy, Matthew S.1
  • DeWaters, Ami L.1
  • Boehmer, John P.1
  • 1 Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine,
Published Article
Heart failure reviews
Publication Date
Sep 24, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s10741-021-10150-5
PMID: 34559368
PMCID: PMC8460850
PubMed Central
  • Article


In heart failure (HF) patients, remote monitoring using implantable devices may be used to predict and reduce HF exacerbations and mortality. Data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was assessed to determine the effectiveness of implantable remote monitoring on the improvement of outcomes in HF patients. A systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs testing remote monitoring versus standard of care for management of HF patients was performed. Primary endpoints were all-cause mortality and a composite of cardiovascular (CV) and HF hospitalizations. Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. A secondary analysis tested for heterogeneity of treatment effect (HTE) comparing right ventricular/pulmonary pressure monitoring versus impedance-based monitoring on hospitalization. A regression analysis was performed using the mean follow-up time as the moderator on each primary endpoint. Eleven RCTs ( n = 6196) were identified with a mean follow-up of 21.9 months. The mean age and reported ejection fraction were 64.1 years and 27.7%, respectively. Remote monitoring did not reduce mortality (RR 0.89 [95% CI 0.77, 1.03]) or the composite of CV and HF hospitalizations (RR 0.98 [0.81, 1.19]). Subgroup analysis found significant HTE for hospitalizations between those studies that used right ventricular/pulmonary pressure monitoring versus impedance-based monitoring ( I 2 = 87.1%, chi2 = 7.75, p = 0.005). Regression analysis found no relationship between the log rate ratio of remote monitoring’s effect on mortality, CV hospitalization or HF hospitalization, and mean follow-up time. Compared to standard of care, remote monitoring using implantable devices did not reduce mortality, CV, or HF hospitalizations. However, right ventricular/pulmonary pressure monitoring may reduce HF hospitalizations, which will need to be explored in future studies. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10741-021-10150-5.

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