CRT-D offers doctors clue to relationship between congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.
Barbara Anglosi’s implanted heart device and defibrillator works so well she doesn’t even notice when it activates.
Mrs. Anglosi, 75, of Marlton, New Jersey, had a bi-ventricular device (InSync Sentry from Medtronic, Inc., in Minneapolis, Minnesota) implanted in April 2005 after experiencing shortness of breath related to cardiomyopathy. Now she can do all of her daily activities, like walking and climbing stairs, with ease again. The CRT defibrillator device has responded to her cardiac episodes without her ever realizing.Prior to her office visits, she transmits data over the telephone which downloads into her physician’s computer.
“Sometimes, Dr. Andriulli tells me I had an episode on a specific day and I am surprised. When I try to recall what I was doing I can never pinpoint anything that may have triggered the episode. The system just kicked in without me feeling any symptoms at all,” Mrs. Anglosi says.
“Although I was nervous and unsure of the procedure, it went smoothly and has been such a positive change in my life. I have felt wonderful ever since,” she adds.
As illustrated in Mrs. Anglosi’s case, the ability of an implantable device to monitor the fluid accumulation in the heart, is a useful diagnostic tool, says John A. Andriulli, D.O., author of a new study published in the May issue of The American Journal of Cardiology. Dr. Andriulli is a leader in implantable devices, teaching techniques internationally. He was the first in South Jersey to implant the InSync device and has implanted the most devices in patients in the Delaware Valley.
The procedure, intrathoracic impedence monitoring, can provide valuable measurements that can help physicians better understand a patient’s cardiac health. In the study, 25 patients who previously underwent implantation with the InSync Sentry CRT-D device were retrospectively reviewed. “This study demonstrated that daily monitoring might reveal a relationship between worsening heart failure and the onset of arrhythmias,” said Dr. Andriulli, Director of Arrhythmia Device Program at Cooper University Hospital.
By continuously monitoring the fluid accumulation in the heart, abnormal patterns often emerge and offer early warning signs that may indicate worsening heart failure. As the amount of fluid in the lungs increases, impedance decreases. Factors, such as the severity of congestive heart failure, age, weight, sex, and body index may have an impact on impedances, he explains.
For more information about the Cooper Heart Institute or to make an appointment with a Cooper University Hospital physician at an office near you, please call 1-800-8-COOPER (800-826-6737) to speak with a member of our physician referral and information service.