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Heart Failure Sensor Cuts Hospitalizations in Half

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Mar 2019
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Image: The implantable, battery-free CardioMEMS sensor (Photo courtesy of Abbott Vascular).
Image: The implantable, battery-free CardioMEMS sensor (Photo courtesy of Abbott Vascular).
Heart failure (HF) patients show a 58% reduction in hospitalization after implantation of a pulmonary artery (PA) pressure measurement sensor, claims a new study.

The Abbott Vascular (Santa Clara, CA, USA) CardioMEMS Sensor is a permanently implantable wireless device that provides PA pressure measurements, including systolic, diastolic, and mean pressures, which can used to monitor cardiac status and initiate changes in medical therapy if necessary. The sensor consists of a resonant circuit that includes a capacitor and an induction coil; the capacitance is a function of pressure, and the resonant frequency is a function of capacitance. During the RF pulse, the sensor accumulates energy, which is re-radiated to an electronics unit that displays PA information as an 18 second waveform.

A study conducted by the University of Southern California (USC; Los Angeles, USA) showed that patients had an average of 0.52 HF hospitalizations in the year following implantation, compared to 1.24 before, regardless of the patients' ejection fraction. There were also benefits for females (61% reduction), blacks (53% reduction), patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), and those with an ischemic or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. The device also appeared to reduce all-cause hospitalizations for arrhythmias, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by 28%.

CardioMEMS also met its safety endpoint, which was defined as freedom from device or system-related complications or sensor failure at one year post-implantation. Per the study data, only four patients experienced device- or system-related complications, and there was only one episode of sensor failure. The results translate into a 99.7% freedom from device/system-related complications and 99.9% freedom from sensor failure. The study was presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 68th annual scientific session, held during March 2019 in New Orleans (LA, USA).

“If you can maintain more normal cardiac filling pressures and less heart stress, you are less likely to be seriously affected and need hospitalization for other conditions such as lung disease or liver disease, which are affected by heart function,” said lead author and study presenter David Shavelle, MD, of USC. “We believe that having the sensor monitored by their care team also encourages patients to follow their medication plan and gives them a sense of security that is particularly important for those living far away from a hospital.”

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