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Beyond Heart Rhythms: New Directions for Implantable Devices

  • Fred Kusumoto
  • Nora Goldschlager
Editorial
  • 51 Downloads

Abstract

Implantable cardiac devices have become firmly entrenched as important therapeutic tools for a variety of conditions. Pacemakers are the only available treatment for symptomatic bradycardia not due to reversible causes. Large randomized studies have demonstrated a small but statistically significant reduction in atrial fibrillation associated with pacing modes that maintain atrioventricular synchrony. In contrast, pacing mode appears to have a less dramatic effect in patients with atrioventricular block. Cardiac resynchronization with specialized left ventricular leads has been shown to reduce symptoms and improve survival in patients with symptomatic heart failure, systolic dysfunction, and widened QRS complexes. The implantable cardioverter defibrillator has become the standard therapy for protecting patients against sudden cardiac death. Two recent trials, Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Trial II (MADIT II) and the Sudden Cardiac Death Heart Failure Trial (SCD-HEFT), demonstrated that the ICD is associated with a significant survival benefit for patients with reduced ejection fraction (< 0.30–0.35) particularly if heart failure symptoms are present. Finally the implantable loop recorder has become an important diagnostic tool for the patient with unexplained syncope. This brief overview summarizes the indications and follow-up of the wide array of implantable cardiac devices available to the clinical cardiologist.

Key Words

implantable devices pacemakers 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrophysiology and Pacing Service, Division of Cardiovascular Disease, Department of MedicineMayo ClinicJacksonville
  2. 2.Cardiology Division, Department of MedicineSan Francisco General HospitalSan Francisco
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco
  4. 4.Electrophysiology and Pacing Service, Division of Cardiovascular DiseaseMayo ClinicJacksonville

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