Muthu Krishnan, M.D., FACC, with Lake Regional Cardiovascular Institute, is the first cardiologist in mid-Missouri to implant a new cardiac defibrillator that uses a single lead to sense vital changes in heart rhythm.
Single-chamber ICDs are sophisticated electronic devices that use a thin flexible wire, known as a lead, to monitor the normal activity of the heart and deliver a life-saving electrical shock when the heart rate becomes dangerously fast or stops altogether.
The Food and Drug Administration granted final approval for the BIOTRONIK Lumax 740 DX System on Feb. 25, and the device recently was used at Lake Regional Health System, where it provides a new option for gaining important and useful atrial signal information without the risk of implanting multiple leads.
“The ability to detect electrical signals from two cardiac chambers with one lead is a significant advance in ICD technology,” Dr. Krishnan said. “This could help us better determine the mechanisms of abnormal cardiac rhythms in our patients and reduce the burden of inappropriate ICD shocks.”
ICDs are very useful in preventing sudden cardiac death in patients with ventricular tachycardia — a fast heart rate — or for diagnosing atrial fibrillation, which is a quivering or irregular heartbeat. Almost 70,000 people nationwide are implanted with ICDs each year.
Traditional, standard single-chamber ICDs come with limitations. The devices are designed only to sense changes in ventricular rhythm and are unable to sense atrial arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, correctly. This can result in an increased risk of an inappropriate shock or a stroke if AF is not detected.
The DX System expands the diagnostic capabilities of a standard single-chamber ICD with a single lead, in addition to featuring sophisticated sensors that allow for atrial monitoring and enhanced arrhythmia diagnosis. The system uses an innovative floating atrial dipole. This allows physicians, for the first-time in an ICD, to capture atrial sensing capabilities with only one lead.