Purpose of review: Patients with single-ventricle, shunt-dependent physiology are at increased risk for interstage death due to the inherent instability of parallel circulation. Enhanced surveillance and early identification of deteriorating physiology via interstage home monitoring result in significant reduction in mortality. These programs are an important focus of improving outcomes for patients with single-ventricle heart disease.
Recent findings: In the multi-institutional Pediatric Heart Network Single-Ventricle Reconstruction Trial, interstage mortality was 12%, highlighting the continued opportunity to improve on this metric. A number of single-center series have demonstrated significant benefit of interstage monitoring on survival and growth. The focus on interstage monitoring by the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative of the Joint Council on Congenital Heart Disease should improve our understanding of patients at greatest risk and help establish best practices for interstage care. In addition, a number of pilot projects utilizing newer communication technologies seek to improve the connection between program and patient.
Summary: Interstage home monitoring programs are a model of collaborative care that improves outcomes. Continued research in this area will refine the elements of home monitoring programs and continue to guide improved results. In addition, this model may serve as a template for the care of other populations of medically complex infants.