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Wireless Pacemaker Shows Promise in Early Study
Date:5/9/2013

However, one patient died of a stroke while convalescing after suffering a heart injury during implantation and another had the pacemaker replaced with a defibrillator.

Why get a wire-free pacemaker? "For patients with heart problems, this could potentially mean fewer infections related to leads and less discomfort during the implant procedure," Reddy said. And children who get pacemakers wouldn't face chest scarring, he added.

Dr. Saman Nazarian, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said the findings are promising and "the new technology has enormous potential." He expects the pacemaker "will likely be utilized for some select patients" after more testing.

Still, he said, the new device will probably be more expensive than other pacemakers, and may pose special risks of its own.

Dr. Harish Doppalapudi, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, added that there are unanswered questions regarding replacement of the new pacemakers.

"When the battery of the implanted leadless pacemaker is exhausted, a new implant is necessary, with all the potential risks associated with this," Doppalapudi said. "It is not known if it will be feasible to safely retrieve the old device. If the old device is left in place, it is not known what the long-term effects of this will be."

Study author Reddy has received grant funding from Nanostim, and works for the company as a consultant. He also has received stock options from the company.

The study was to be presented Wednesday at the Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting in Denver. Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more about pacemakers, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.


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