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Heart Hospital of Austin Physician First in Texas to Implant New Heart Failure Device
Date:12/1/2011

artet lead features four electrodes on a single, left-ventricular lead (or wire) instead of the current industry standard of two electrodes on a bipolar lead. The additional electrodes provide more ways for a physician to configure an optimal pacing strategy while still implanting the lead in the most stable position. Ultimately, having four electrodes provides more options to effectively regulate the patient's heartbeat.

Patients receiving St. Jude Medical's Unify Quadra at the Heart Hospital of Austin can feel more confident in their procedure knowing that the device has more pacing options to reduce the chance of reoperation to manually reposition the lead. Due to differences in individual patient anatomy, or results that cannot be seen until the procedure is complete, complications can arise after placing the lead of a CRT device. The Quartet lead's four electrodes can help avoid these complications by providing physicians more options to pace in additional configurations.

One example of a pacing complication is a high pacing threshold. Patients who already have scar tissue formed in the heart, possibly as a result of a previous heart attack, may require additional energy from their CRT device, which can wear out the battery more quickly. Another complication that can result is the unintentional stimulation of the diaphragm or the heart's phrenic nerve, which results in hiccup-like symptoms. In both cases, without the ability to select different pacing locations, additional surgery may be needed to reposition the lead wire and repair the electrical stimulation the device provides.

Approximately 10 percent of patients experience pacing-related lead complications, and approximately 5 percent require surgical revision. The quadripolar pacing system available in the Unify Quadra CRT-D is expected to become an industry standard as a result of its ability to reduce the impact of these complications on the health care system due to the many heal
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SOURCE Heart Hospital of Austin
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