Patients with previous heart attacks may not benefit from pacemaker implant

January 31, 2005

Current criteria for implantation of pacemakers fail to accurately identify which patients will or will not receive benefit, recent research shows. This study, published in Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology (PACE) looked at information derived from a standard electrocardiogram (EKG) to examine factors associated with response or non-response. On average, patients with previous heart attacks did not respond as well to this therapy as patients without previous heart attacks.

This research should impact the way patients are selected for cardiac resynchronization therapy, or pacemaker implantation, and also suggests a need for more research in this area.

At least 33% of patients with congestive heart failure who are treated with specialized pacemakers - a costly and invasive treatment - to electrically resynchronize their hearts fail to respond.
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About the Author
Matthew R. Reynolds, M.D., M.Sc. is in the Division of Cardiology atBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA. He can be reached for questions and interviews at mreynold@bidmc.harvard.edu.

This article is published in Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About the Journal
Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology (PACE) is the foremost peer-reviewed journal in the field of pacing and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, publishing over 50% of all English language articles in its field, featuring original, review, and didactic papers, and case reports related to daily practice. Articles also include editorials, book reviews, Musings on humane topics relevant to medical practice, electrophysiology (EP) Rounds, and information concerning the quality of devices used in the practice of the specialty.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 550 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

The Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology journal is available at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0147-8389&site=1.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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