Limitations of the past and latest evolutions of home monitoring: arrhythmia electrograms transmitted automatically improve the efficacy of remote monitoring
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Background: Telemetric surveillance systems are part of a well-accepted and evolving field in the care of cardiac patients. Especially in patients with implanted cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD), they are well established and their usefulness and reliability have been shown in several clinical trials. Currently, three generations of Home Monitoring™ (HM, Biotronik GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany) are commercially available. Methods: This paper presents three cases demonstrating the various limitations of the first and second generations of HM and the way they can be overcome by the third generation. Results: In the first case, atrial flutter was misinterpreted by the device and classified as ventricular tachycardia (VT). Thus, in the online IEGM, supraventricular tachycardia was identified, and the short IEGM strip and lack of transmitted atrial signals of the dual-chamber device necessitated an appointment for ICD interrogation, to clarify the diagnosis and propose further treatment. The second case is that of a patient in whom a VT was ineffectively treated by anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) and continued with longer cycle length, leading to syncope. A second-generation HM device with online- IEGM misleadingly appears to indicate successful treatment. The third case demonstrates correct detection and therapy of a fast VT by an ICD of third-generation HM type. The online IEGM now gives all information needed for complete telemetric assessment. Conclusions: Home Monitoring (HM) is a helpful remote surveillance tool for the early detection of both arrhythmias and technical problems. As shown, the first two generations had limitations which the patient must take into account when using the system. These limitations have been overcome in the third generation, making Home Monitoring more self-sufficient and reliable.
Key wordsHome monitoring ICD ineffective therapy limitations
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