Actions elicited during scheduled and unscheduled in-hospital follow-up of cardiac devices: results of the ATHENS multicentre registry†

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The number of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) is continuously growing and this translates into a high number of in-hospital follow-ups. This workload justifies the increasing popularity of remote monitoring systems for the follow-up of CIEDs. The ATHENS registry was designed to find out what actions are taken during in-hospital follow-up of CIEDs at 10 different centres in Northern Italy.

Methods and results

Between 1 March 2010 and 30 June 2010, all patients who came to our centres for a follow-up of their CIEDs were enrolled in the registry. We defined as visit with an action (VWA) a follow-up that elicited an action in that patient. The primary endpoint was the prevalence of VWA on the whole population. The secondary endpoints were: prevalence of VWA on the pacemaker (PM) population; prevalence of VWA on the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) population; prevalence of VWA on the cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) population; predictors of VWA in univariate and multivariate analyses. A total of 3362 patients were recruited. The primary endpoint was reached in 762 patients, 22.8% of patients (95% CI 21.4–24.3). The prevalence of action was highest for CRT (29.8%), followed by PM (22.8%) and ICD (18.6%). In a multivariate model, the prevalence of action was higher for CRT, than for PM and was lowest for ICD and it was higher for unscheduled visits and first visits than for scheduled visits.


Our registry demonstrates that ‘some actions’ are taken during about 20% of scheduled in-hospital follow-up of CIEDs. These data should encourage the use of remote follow-up systems.

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