Ambulatory Monitoring of Heart Sounds via an Implanted Device Is Superior to Auscultation for Prediction of Heart Failure Events

J Card Fail. 2020 Feb;26(2):151-159. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2019.10.006. Epub 2019 Oct 18.


Background: We compared the relationship between the third heart sound (S3) measured by an implantable cardiac device (devS3) and auscultation (ausS3) and evaluated their prognostic powers for predicting heart failure events (HFEs).

Methods and results: In the MultiSENSE study, devS3 was measured daily with continuous values, whereas ausS3 was assessed at study visits with discrete grades. They were compared among patients with and without HFEs at baseline and against each other directly. Cox proportional hazard models were developed between follow-up visits and over the whole study. Simulations were performed on devS3 to match the limitations of auscultation. We studied 900 patients, of whom 106 patients experienced 192 HFEs. Two S3 sensing modalities correlated with each other, but at baseline, only devS3 differentiated patients with or without HFEs (P < 0.0001). The prognostic power of devS3 was superior to that of ausS3 both between follow-up visits (HR = 5.7, P < 0.0001, and 1.7, P = 0.047, respectively) and over the whole study (HR = 2.9, P < 0.0001, and 1.4, P = 0.216, respectively). Simulation results suggested this superiority may be attributed to continuous monitoring and to subaudible measuring capability.

Conclusions: S3 measured by implantable cardiac devices has stronger prognostic power to predict episodes of future HFEs than that of auscultation.

Keywords: Third heart sound; heart failure; implantable cardiac devices; remote monitoring.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Auscultation / methods*
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy / methods*
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Devices
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory / instrumentation
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Heart Sounds / physiology
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests