Quality and transparency of evidence for implantable cardiovascular medical devices assessed by the CORE-MD Consortium.

Siontis, George Cm; Coles, Bernadette; Häner, Jonas D; McGovern, Laurna; Bartkowiak, Joanna; Coughlan, J J; Spirito, Alessandro; Galea, Roberto; Haeberlin, Andreas; Praz, Fabien; Tomii, Daijiro; Melvin, Tom; Frenk, André; Byrne, Robert A; Fraser, Alan G; Windecker, Stephan (2024). Quality and transparency of evidence for implantable cardiovascular medical devices assessed by the CORE-MD Consortium. European Heart Journal, 45(3), pp. 161-177. Oxford University Press 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad567

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The European Union Medical Device Regulation 2017/745 challenges key stakeholders to follow transparent and rigorous approaches to the clinical evaluation of medical devices. The purpose of this study is a systematic evaluation of published clinical evidence underlying selected high-risk cardiovascular medical devices before and after market access in the European Union (CE marking) between 2000 and 2021.


Prespecified strategies were applied to identify published studies of prospective design evaluating 71 high-risk cardiovascular devices in 7 different classes (bioresorbable coronary scaffolds, left atrial appendage occlusion devices, transcatheter aortic valve implantation systems, transcatheter mitral valve repair/replacement systems, surgical aortic and mitral heart valves, leadless pacemakers, subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator). The search time-span covered 20 years (2000-2021). Details of study design, patient population, intervention(s) and primary outcome(s) were summarized, and assessed with respect to timing of the corresponding CE-mark approval.


At least one prospective clinical trial was identified for 70% (50/71) of the prespecifed devices. Overall, 473 reports of 308 prospectively designed studies (enrolling 97,886 individuals) were deemed eligible, including 81% (251/308) prospective non-randomized clinical trials (66,186 individuals) and 19% (57/308) randomized clinical trials (31,700 individuals). Preregistration of the study protocol was available in 49% (150/308) studies, and 16% (48/308) had a peer-reviewed publicly available protocol. Device-related adverse events were evaluated in 82% (253/308) of studies. An outcome adjudication process was reported in 39% (120/308) of the studies. Sample size was larger for randomized in comparison to non-randomized trials (median of 304 versus 100 individuals, p<0.001). No randomized clinical trial published before CE-mark approval for any of the devices was identified. Non-randomized clinical trials were predominantly published after the corresponding CE-mark approval of the device under evaluation (89%, 224/251). Sample sizes were smaller for studies published before (median of 34 individuals) than after (median of 135 individuals) CE-mark approval (p<0.001). Clinical trials with larger sample sizes (>50 individuals) and those with longer recruitment periods were more likely to be published after CE-mark approval, and were more frequent during the period 2016-2021.


The quantity and quality of publicly available data from prospective clinical investigations across selected categories of cardiovascular devices, before and after CE approval during the period 2000-2021, was deemed insufficient. The majority of studies were non-randomized, with increased risk of bias, and performed in small populations without provision of power calculations, and none of the reviewed devices had randomized trial results published prior to CE mark certification.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

UniBE Contributor:

Siontis, Georgios, Häner, Jonas, Bartkowiak, Joanna, Galea, Roberto, Häberlin, Andreas David Heinrich, Praz, Fabien Daniel, Tomii, Daijiro, Frenk, André, Windecker, Stephan


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

29 Aug 2023 17:00

Last Modified:

15 Jan 2024 00:13

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Conformité Européenne European Union Medical Device Regulation cardiovascular devices class III medical devices high-risk medical devices implantable devices





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