Frequency and timing of recurrent events in infants using home cardiorespiratory monitors

J Pediatr. 1998 May;132(5):783-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(98)70304-x.


Objective: To determine the incidence, type, timing, and factors predictive of recurrent significant events in infants with home cardiorespiratory monitors.

Study design: We reviewed data accumulated for 147 patients with an event-recorder type of monitor. The infants were allocated to one of four diagnostic categories: apparent life-threatening events (ALTE, n = 73), former premature infants with persistent apnea and bradycardia (n = 29), siblings of victims of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (n = 24), and parental anxiety after a nonsignificant event (n = 21).

Results: Compliance with monitoring was excellent; the monitors were used on 94% of the prescribed days. Fifty-three (36%) of 147 infants had significant events; of those, 46 (87%) experienced their first event during the first month of monitoring, and 69% of the events occurred during that first month. The most prevalent event type was a bradycardic event. Among infants in the ALTE group, events during the initial investigation period predicted the likelihood of events at home; 2 of the 47 infants (4%) with negative results for an investigation and no events recorded in hospital had apnea, and 4 had a bradycardic event (9%). In contrast, when significant events were recorded in hospital, the events were likely to recur at home (69% and 35% of the infants had apnea or bradycardia, respectively; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Because most apnea, bradycardia, and recurrent clinical events began during the first month of monitoring, we emphasize the need for vigilant follow-up care of infants immediately after institution of home monitoring. Readmission for investigation is warranted in infants with severe or multiple recurrent events.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Apnea / complications
  • Apnea / diagnosis*
  • Apnea / epidemiology
  • Bradycardia / complications
  • Bradycardia / diagnosis*
  • Bradycardia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Home Nursing / methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sudden Infant Death / genetics
  • Time Factors