The impact of remote monitoring (RM) on clinical outcomes in heart failure (HF) patients with cardiac resynchronisation therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) implantation is controversial. This study sought to evaluate the performance of an RM follow-up protocol using modified criteria of the PARTNERS HF trial in comparison with a conventional follow-up scheme.

Material and methods:
We compared cardiovascular (CV) mortality (primary endpoint) and hospitalisation events for decompensated HF, and the number of ambulatory in-office visits (secondary endpoint) in CRT-D implanted patients with automatic RM utilising daily transmissions (RM group, n = 45) and conventional follow-up (CFU group, n = 43) in a single-centre observational study.

After a median follow-up of 25 months, a significant advantage was seen in the RM group in terms of CV mortality (1 vs. 6 death event, p = 0.04), although RM follow-up was not an independent predictor for CV mortality (HR = 0.882; 95% CI: 0.25–3.09; p = 0.845). Patient CV mortality was independently influenced by hospitalisation events for decompensated HF (HR = 3.24; 95% CI: 8–84; p = 0.022) during follow-up. We observed significantly fewer hospitalisation events for decompensated HF (8 vs. 29 events, p = 0.046) in the RM group. Furthermore, a decreased number of total (161 vs. 263, p < 0.01) and unnecessary ambulatory in-office visits (6 vs. 19, p = 0.012) were seen in the RM group as compared to the CFU group.

Follow-up of CRT-D patients using automatic RM with daily transmissions based on modified PARTNERS HF criteria enabled more effective ambulatory interventions leading indirectly to improved CV survival. Moreover, RM directly decreased the number of HF hospitalizations and ambulatory follow-up burden compared to CRT-D patients with conventional follow-up.