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Can Implantable Devices for Heart Failure Help Assess Risk of Future Adverse Events for Heart Failure Patients?
Date:9/24/2008

ICDs monitoring intrathoracic fluid identify patients at a high risk for

subsequent adverse events in heart failure patients

TORONTO, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Today a clinical trial "PARTNERS HF: Multi-Site Program to Access and Review Trending Information and Evaluate Correlation to Symptoms in Patients with Heart Failure," was presented at the 12th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) by Dr. David Whellan, who is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Jefferson Heart Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. This clinical trial highlighted the results of evaluating the intrathoracic fluid data collected by implantable devices used to treat patients with heart failure as a possible tool to determine subsequent heart failure related adverse events. The scientific meeting began Monday at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and also featured new research, advances in treatment, guidelines for care, debates, and late breaking clinical trials.

"This finding could be important to help us better understand how body functions (i.e., excess fluid) effect the progression of heart failure," said Dr. Barry Greenberg, HFSA President, and Professor of Medicine, and Director, Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Program, University of California, San Diego. "Diagnostic measures that would lead to early detection of changes in various parameters could ultimately allow us to intervene at an early time and thus prevent cardiac events from occurring."

This trial enrolled 1,000 patients and followed them for a period of 12 months in order to determine the outcome of diagnostic information obtained from an implantable cardiac defibrillator which measures changes in fluid levels in the thoracic cavity. Low electrical pulses travel across the thorax to measure the level of resistance, changes indicate increasing or decreasing fluid levels. Worsening heart failure is commonly characterized by fluid accumulation. This study examined whether certain changes in the fluid index could identify patients at risk for subsequent heart failure event. Additionally, if a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia is detected, the devices in this study were capable of delivering an electrical pulse or shock to correct it.

Dr. Whellan explained that the trial observed how well the diagnostic parameters predicted the incidence of clinical events. "We now have this continuous diagnostic data available for patients during in-clinic visits as well as a remote follow up over the internet. This trial found that patients with a high intrathoric fluid were about three times more likely to have a subsequent heart failure event, independent of other clinical variables."

For a complete list of annual meeting sessions or for details on attending the conference, call (617) 226-7198 or visit http://www.hfsa.org and click on Annual Scientific Meeting. There is no registration fee for accredited journalists. Interview areas will be available on-site in addition to a fully-staffed press room with phone and internet accessibility.

About Heart Failure

Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened after it is injured from heart attack or high blood pressure and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. Many people are not aware they have heart failure because the symptoms are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure affects from 4.6 to 4.8 million individuals in the United States. Demographic and clinical evidence strongly suggest the prevalence of heart failure will increase throughout the next decade. Ten to 15 years ago heart failure was considered a "death sentence;" however, recent advances in treatment have shown that early diagnosis and proper care in early stages of the condition are key to slowing, stopping or in some cases reversing progression, improving quality of life, and extending life expectancy. For more information on heart failure, please visit http://www.abouthf.org .

About the Heart Failure Society of America

The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized association of heart failure experts. Today HFSA has over 1,700 members and provides a forum for all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA, NIH, NHLBI, CMS). The HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting is designed to highlight recent advances in the development of strategies to address the complex epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic issues of heart failure. Additional information on HFSA can be found at http://www.hfsa.org .


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SOURCE The Heart Failure Society of America
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