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New Wireless Cardiac Pacemaker Showing Promising Results
- Updated: May 11, 2014
Heart failure, in which the organ loses the ability to pump blood efficiently, is the most common cause of hospitalization among the elderly, killing almost 285,000 people a year in the United States.
Although the heart has its own natural pacemaker that sets its rhythm, the term “pacemaker” most commonly refers to an artificial electronic device that is implanted in the chest to regulate the heart’s rhythm. Those devices use one or two electrical wires, or leads, which stimulate the heart muscle with a timed discharge to produce a regular heartbeat.
Scientists at the Mount Sinai in New York City have been working on leadless pacemaker, and reports suggest that it is looking very promising. According to the report, the device, a tiny, and smaller than a triple-A battery, metal silver tube, has been installed in more then 30 patients with a slowed heartbeat, bradycardia at two hospitals in Prague and one in Amsterdam.
Nearly 400,000 pacemakers are implanted annually in the United States. A traditional permanent pacemaker is implanted into a patient’s chest during a minor surgical procedure. A short stay in the hospital may be required, and some patients may need to take medications afterward that help the heart maintain a normal rhythm.
“This is the first time we have seen one-year follow-up data for this innovative, wireless cardiac pacing technology. Our results show the leadless pacemaker is comparable to traditional pacemakers,” according to Vivek Reddy, MD. Dr Reddy specializes in cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where he is also a professor.
In comparison to a traditional pacemaker, the leadless pacemaker can be installed without requiring any surgery. The device can be placed directly inside a patient’s heart without during a catheter-guided procedure through the groin via the femoral vein.
“Our latest findings further support the promising performance and safety of this minimally-invasive, non-surgical pacing device. More long-term follow-up of these LEADLESS study patients will further our understanding of the potential advantages, benefits, and complication risks of leadless pacemaker technology, along with additional ongoing, larger trials,” Dr Reddy said.