Elmhurst Memorial Hospital physician is first in Chicago area to implant new heart failure device
For immediate release, February 6, 2012
Kyle Bauer, Public Relations Manager, 630-993-5702
ELMHURST – A physician on the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital (EMH) medical staff is the first in Chicago area to implant the Unify Quadra™ cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) and Quartet® Left Ventricular Quadripolar Pacing Lead. The new pacing technology offers additional pacing options that can reduce the need for reoperation to reposition a lead and offers physicians the ability to more efficiently and effectively manage the individualized needs of patients with heart failure.
“This technology is the industry’s first quadripolar pacing system, and we are proud to be among the first in the country to implant this state-of-the-art device,” said Cash Casey, M.D., a cardiologist with Midwest Heart Specialists and member of the EMH medical staff. “We’re committed to providing our patients with smart technology that will help improve their quality of life. We recognize the advancements found in the latest CRT device and are excited to have this as an option for our patients.”
Offering this new pacing technology represents the latest example of EMH’s commitment to remaining on the cutting edge of the latest treatment options. In 2011, immediately following approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a revolutionary new treatment for atrial fibrillation was performed for the first time in Illinois at EMH. The procedure, which uses the Artic Front® Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter System, is a minimally invasive, catheter-based technology that blocks the conduction of atrial fibrillation in cardiac tissue through the use of a balloon that cools tissue rather than the traditional approach of heating tissue with a catheter.
The Quartet lead now being used by Dr. Casey at EMH 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 the new device can feel more confident in their procedure knowing that it 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 can’t 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 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.
Elmhurst Memorial Hospital is a nationally recognized leader in the treatment of heart and vascular disease, with its acute myocardial infarction and heart failure programs having received Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification. Each year, approximately 200 open heart surgeries are performed at EMH and more than 2,000 cardiac inpatients are served annually. The Hospital treats more than 2,300 patients in its invasive lab and more than 16,000 patients in its non-invasive lab.
Due in part to a strong integration between cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, EMH is able to offer comprehensive care in a community hospital setting. This strong collaboration has also lead to a median door-to-balloon time (the time between patient arrival at the hospital and the start of artery opening treatment) of 56 minutes, well below the national benchmark of 90 minutes.