Navigation Links
Test Spots Who Should Get Implanted Defibrillator

Not every patient needs the expensive but lifesaving devices, experts note

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A simple test can give cardiologists guidance about whether they should implant defibrillators into patients with weak hearts, new research confirms.

Implanted defibrillators aren't necessary for all patients and can be extremely expensive, noted Dr. Paul Chan, a cardiologist at Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City who's familiar with the study findings.

"Not all patients with weak heart muscle are made alike," Chan said. "There's growing evidence that this test may help determine who is at higher risk and who may be at low risk for sudden cardiac risk. And who may be the best candidates to receive -- or not receive -- a defibrillator."

At issue are patients whose heart muscles are weak and may be at especially high risk of dying suddenly. Some have a condition known as heart failure, which can be extremely debilitating, while others may appear perfectly healthy.

"We have people who are in their 50s and 60s, and if they don't have symptoms, they can do everything in their lives that we all do," Chan said. "They can climb stairs, they can have jobs and don't have any apparent symptoms. [But] some get short of breath after 4 to 5 blocks of walking or even after a half-block of walking."

The new study was led by Dr. Jorge Salerno-Uniarte, of the Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi, Varese, Italy. His team looked at the medical records of 446 cardiac patients who underwent a test known as T-wave alternans. It's similar to a traditional stress test and requires patients to exercise enough to boost their pulse to 120 beats a minute, Chan said. Electrical leads, meanwhile, measure how their hearts function.

The study is published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers found that those who had abnormal test results were more than four times more likely to suffer abnormal heart rhythms or die within 18 to 24 months of the test.

Those who received normal scores on the test had "a very good prognosis and are likely to benefit little" from having defibrillators implanted, the study authors wrote.

It may seem to make sense to simply install defibrillators in anyone who's at a higher-than-normal risk of cardiac death. The machines, after all, are designed to keep people alive by shocking the heart into a normal rhythm when it is in danger of not beating due to an electrical disruption.

But by one estimate, 17 defibrillators need to be implanted in order for one to save a single life. And, according to Chan, it can cost $40,000 to implant one of the little machines.

In addition, defibrillators don't make patients feel better on a day-to-day basis, Chan said. "It doesn't make your symptoms any better or make you walk longer or climb a stairs without being short of breath. The only thing it prevents is sudden death from cardiac arrhythmia."

More information

For more on sudden cardiac death, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Paul Chan, M.D., cardiologist, Mid-America Heart Institute, Kansas City; Nov. 6, 2007, Journal of American College of Cardiology

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Method To Identify Protein Hot spots
2. Mercury Contamination (Hotspots) Identified
3. Antarctic Icebergs Serve as hotspots for Ocean Life
4. Pregnancy should not be confined
5. Herbal treatment should be estimated
6. Heart patients should play Golf
7. Skipped heartbeats should not be ignored
8. Pregnancy shouldnt be dissuaded in older age
9. Women on HRT should avoid alcohol
10. Babies Should Get Vitamin D Supplement
11. Age should not rule out visectomy reversal
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Test Spots Who Should Get Implanted Defibrillator
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 23rd ... Tri Lite’s personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains what this means ... that fit in well with the Cozy Products business model: to sell personal heaters ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, Dr. Todd C. Hobgood ... non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private practice capabilities with the grand ... trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, Dr. Todd Hobgood serves the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s student-produced musical ... its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions for this ... Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the Evanston community. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a passenger ... thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them from ... disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, it ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result of the ... second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, will help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Developmental, commercial, and regulatory/legal strategies ... products, says GBI Research . ... all play a key role in boosting the profitability of ... --> Developmental, commercial, and regulatory/legal ... profitability of pharmaceutical products, says GBI Research ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 The hope of bearing ... of IVF cycles. After failure of over 15 IVF ... lost all hopes that she would be able to conceive ever. But finally optimism prevailed ... after failure of over 15 IVF cycles. ... to take one last attempt with Gaudium IVF Center in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HILL, N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015  In ... research projects in an effort to quickly uncover new ... position. --> --> ... launch a market research project and ensure that all ... company and industry standards. Another major barrier to efficiently ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: