Early detection of an underperforming implantable cardiovascular device using an automated safety surveillance tool

Robert G. Hauser, Andrew S. Mugglin, Paul A. Friedman, Daniel B. Kramer, Linda M. Kallinen, Deepa M. McGriff, David L. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background-Postmarket medical device surveillance in the United States depends largely on voluntary reporting of adverse events. Consequently, early safety signals may be missed, exposing patients to potentially hazardous products. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of using an automated safety surveillance tool to detect early signals that a marketed implantable cardiac device was underperforming. Methods and Results-For this purpose, we performed simulated prospective monthly full-cohort and propensity-matched comparative survival analyses on our 3-center database of Sprint Fidelis and Quattro Secure implantable cardioverterdefibrillator leads, using a commercially available automated surveillance tool that was preset to trigger an alert if the log rank probability value was =0.05. During the study, 84 of 1035 Fidelis (8.1%) and 23 of 1675 Quattro (1.4%) leads failed. The simulated full-cohort analysis triggered a sustained alert for Fidelis leads beginning 13 months after the first implant and 2 years before Fidelis leads were removed from the market. Of the 1035 patients who had Fidelis leads, up to 969 (93.6%) were successfully matched to Quattro patients. In the propensity-matched analysis, the alert triggered 22 months after the first Fidelis implant and more than 1 year before the lead was recalled. Conclusions-An active automated safety surveillance system could have identified this implantable cardiovascular device problem substantially sooner than was achieved through existing postmarket surveillance methods. Such a tool, when applied to clinical registries and remote monitoring databases, may limit the exposure of large populations to underperforming and potentially hazardous cardiovascular devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Complications
  • Defibrillation
  • Follow-up studies
  • Pacemakers


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