Objective: This retrospective study sought to research the adequacy of the follow-up and optimization of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) performed by industry representatives.
Methods: A total of 403 consecutive patients (35% females; median age, 67 years; age range 1897 years) with either pacemakers (n=246), implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), (n=117) or cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) (n=40) applied to our hospitals outpatient pacemaker clinic for follow-up. These patients had been followed up by industry representatives alone until September 2013 and then by a cardiologist who is dealing with cardiac electrophysiology and has a knowledge of CIED follow-up.
Results: It was ascertained that 117 (47.6%) of 246 patients with pacemakers had a programming error. Forty-three (36.8%) of 117 patients were symptomatic, and after reprogramming, all symptoms diminished partially or completely during the follow-up. Moreover, 30 (25.6%) of 117 patients with ICDs had a programming error. Furthermore, 6 (15%) of 40 patients with CRT-Ds had a programming error. To conclude, when all patients with CIEDs were assessed together, it was ascertained that 153 (38%) of 403 patients had programming errors.
Conclusion: The prevalence of inappropriate programming of CIEDs by industry representatives was quite higher than expected. Therefore, our study strongly demonstrates that CIED follow-up should not be allowed to be performed entirely by manufacturers representatives alone.