[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Few data are available on actual follow-up costs of remote monitoring (RM) of implantable defibrillators (ICD). Our study aimed at assessing current direct costs of 1-year ICD follow-up based on RM compared with conventional quarterly in-hospital follow-ups.
Methods and results
Patients (N = 233) with indications for ICD were consecutively recruited and randomized at implant to be followed up for 1 year with standard quarterly in-hospital visits or by RM with one in-hospital visit at 12 months, unless additional in-hospital visits were required due to specific patient conditions or RM alarms. Costs were calculated distinguishing between provider and patient costs, excluding RM device and service cost. The frequency of scheduled in-hospital visits was lower in the RM group than in the control arm. Follow-up required 47 min per patient/year in the RM arm versus 86 min in the control arm (p = 0.03) for involved physicians, generating cost estimates for the provider of USD 45 and USD 83 per patient/year, respectively. Costs for nurses were comparable. Overall, the costs associated with RM and standard follow-up were USD 103 ± 27 and 154 ± 21 per patient/year, respectively (p = 0.01). RM was cost-saving for the patients: USD 97 ± 121 per patient/year in the RM group versus 287 ± 160 per patient/year (p = 0.0001).
The time spent by the hospital staff was significantly reduced in the RM group. If the costs for the device and service are not charged to patients or the provider, patients could save about USD 190 per patient/year while the hospital could save USD 51 per patient/year.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microvolt T-wave alternans (MTWA) has been proposed as a predictor of the risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VT) and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Aim of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis of MTWA in primary prevention patients with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy.
The positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and relative risk (RR) of MTWA in predicting death, cardiac death, and SCD during follow-up were reported.
Fifteen studies involving 5681 patients (mean age 62 years, mean ejection fraction 32%) were included. The summary PPV during the average 26-month follow-up was 14% (95% CI: 13-15); NPV was 95% (95% CI: 94-96), and the univariate RR was 2.35 (95% CI: 1.68-3.28). The predictive value of MTWA was similar in patients with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy. The average RR for SCD or VT events of an abnormal MTWA was 2.40, similar to that for cardiac death. When we grouped the studies together depending upon whether beta-blockers were withheld prior to MTWA screening, the beta-blockers group showed an RR of 5.88. By contrast, the group in which beta-blocker therapy was withheld had an RR of 1.63.
A positive MTWA determined an approximately 2.5-fold higher risk of cardiac death and life-threatening arrhythmia and showed a very high NPV both in ischemic and nonischemic patients. An abnormal MTWA test was associated with a 5-fold increased risk for cardiac mortality in the low-indeterminate group and about a 6-fold increased risk in beta-blockers group.