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Pacemaker implantation for heart failure does not benefit nearly half of the patients
Date:6/13/2011

A new meta-analysis study, led by physician researchers at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and to be published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (embargoed until June 13, 4 p.m. EDT), shows that three-lead cardiac pacemakers implanted in those with heart failure fail to help up to 40 percent of patients with such devices.

"These findings have significant clinical implications and impact tens of thousands of patients in the U.S.," said Ilke Sipahi, MD, Associate Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation at UH Case Medical Center and Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "In this in-depth analysis, we found that pacemaker patients with less severe electrical disturbance in their hearts did not receive any benefit whatsoever from these expensive and potentially risky implants. Given the abundance of data showing lack of efficacy in this patient population, current treatment guidelines should be changed."

Dr. Sipahi, along with James Fang, MD, Director, Clinical Cardiovascular Services at UH Case Medical Center and Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, investigated the treatment method known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). This highly sophisticated treatment technique involves pacing both ventricles of the heart in an attempt to correct the impaired synchrony during contraction of the heart.

Sometimes also referred to as "biventricular pacing," CRT is a form of therapy for congestive heart failure that utilizes a special pacemaker to re-coordinate the action of the heart chambers.

The study is a combined analysis of clinical trials of nearly 6,000 patients and examines whether the current criteria used by the medical community in selecting patients for the treatment are appropriate.

Treatment guidelines endorsed by various professional societies recommend these pac
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Contact: Mike Ferrari
mike.ferrari@uhhospitals.org
216-844-7239
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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