HCN News & Notes

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Becomes First for New Implant

HARTFORD, Conn. – Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, a member of Trinity Health — New England, is the first facility in the United States to implant the new MultiPoint Pacing technology, featured on the Quadra Assura MP™ cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) or Quadra Allure MP™ CRT-pacemaker (CRT-P)].

MultiPoint pacing technology is designed to deliver electrical pulses to multiple locations within the left side of the heart to resynchronize contraction of the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles). It may also increase a heart failure patient’s response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) by increasing the amount of cardiac tissue being stimulated at one time and may reduce the need for costly and invasive procedures to readjust the placement of the thin wires, called leads, around the heart.

“We are now able to offer the new MultiPoint Pacing technology for our patients whose heart failure condition is difficult to manage. It is important for us to have this option to individualize patient care and help improve response to therapy,” said Dr. Neal Lippman, an electrophysiologist with Arrhythmia Consultants of Connecticut at Saint Francis, who performed the procedure on March 30.

“This is the first and only device to provide multi-point pacing capability which should enhance the ability of implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators such as this one to treat heart failure symptoms,” he added.

According to Dr. Lippman, the patient received this device as a prophylactic ICD because of her risk of sudden cardiac death related to her nonischemic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. She received the biventricular pacing component because of her poor left ventricular function, heart failure, and left bundle branch block.

According to the American Heart Association, CRT can improve the heart’s efficiency at pumping blood to the body and can lessen symptoms of heart failure, including shortness of breath. However, even with effective placement of the leads around the heart, therapy can be unpredictable and ineffective for some patients. The goal of MultiPoint Pacing technology is to allow physicians to program the device to capture more left-ventricular tissue at one time by pacing at multiple locations in the heart, increasing the number of patients who benefit from this type of therapy.

Approximately 23 million people worldwide are afflicted with congestive heart failure and 2 million new cases are diagnosed worldwide each year. Studies have shown that CRT can improve the quality of life for many patients with heart failure, a progressive condition in which the heart weakens and loses its ability to pump an adequate supply of blood. CRT resynchronizes the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart by sending uniquely programmed electrical impulses to stimulate each ventricle to beat in sync for optimal cardiac performance.

Despite the improvements seen with quadripolar CRT technology, non-responders to therapy remain a significant issue. Also, non-responders to CRT are not able to be identified at the time of implant and individual patient response can be unpredictable. Previous studies have shown that activating more ventricular tissue faster may enhance heart muscle performance.

MultiPoint Pacing technology, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit sjm.com