Last month, a pressure-sensing device about the size of a paper clip was implanted via catheterization directly into a patient's right pulmonary artery.
The sensor measures blood flow pressure and heart rate and transmits that data to her care team, allowing them to monitor and adjust medications and care plans as needed.
The CardioMEMS system, from global medical device manufacturer Abbott, was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for commercial use in 2014. Its wireless sensor doesn't require batteries and is designed to last for the lifetime of the patient. Once implanted, it sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. This allows clinicians to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.
It took cardiologist Hossein Amirani, MD, approximately 45 minutes to perform the minimally invasive procedure in the Electrophysiology Lab at St. Francis. The patient returned home the next day and her care team now is receiving daily sensor readings. He subsequently has implanted the device in several other patients with advanced heart failure.
"This is another addition to the therapies available to help patients living with heart failure better manage their condition, resulting in an improved quality of life," says Dr. Amirani.
Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for Americans over age 65. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 900,000 new heart failure patients are diagnosed each year.
The estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. in 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.