Study calls for earlier use of ICDs in patients diagnosed with cardiomyopathy

May 07, 2005

CHICAGO - A study presented today at the Late Breaking Clinical Trials presentations at the Heart Rhythm Society's Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans found that implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) benefit patients with recently diagnosed cardiomyopathy, a disease that affects the heart muscle's ability to pump and can lead to heart failure.

"We looked at this because the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established guidelines that limited ICD use in patients with recently diagnosed cardiomyopathy," says the paper's lead author Alan Kadish, MD, associate chief of Cardiology and associate director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "However, our study found that patients who have a recent cardiomyopathy diagnosis experience comparable mortality risk as those who have had the diagnosis for more than nine months, and they appear to get just as good a survival benefit from ICD implantation as those with a remote diagnosis. Therefore, these findings could help expand the number of patients who benefit from this life-saving therapy."

Details of the overall trial on which these new findings are based have been previously published. The Defibrillators in NonIschemic Cardiomyopathy Treatment Evaluation (DEFINITE) trial showed a relative 35 percent decrease in overall mortality with the use of ICD therapy.

Dr. Kadish was an investigator on the DEFINITE trial. "While ICDs are expensive, results of this trial, combined with those of DEFINITE show that they are indeed cost-effective when used in the appropriate population," explains Dr. Kadish.
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About Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 744 beds and more than 1,200 affiliated physicians and 5,000 employees. Providing state-of-the-art care, Northwestern Memorial is recognized for its outstanding clinical and surgical advancements in such areas as cardiothoracic and vascular care, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow transplantation, and women's health.

Northwestern Memorial received the prestigious 2005 National Quality Health Care Award and is listed in eight specialties in this year's US News & World Report's issue of "America's Best Hospitals." The hospital is also cited as one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine for the past 5 years and has been chosen by Chicagoans for a decade as their "most preferred hospital" in National Research Corporation's annual survey.

About the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital is a world-class heart program offering comprehensive services and state-of-the-art surgical treatments in all areas of cardiovascular care. Recently named by Solucient, an industry-leading healthcare information provider, as the only Chicago hospital on its list of the country's 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers a timely response to referrals and a multidisciplinary approach that joins physicians, nurses and a range of other medical specialists and caregivers from Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiovascular Anesthesiology and Radiology from evaluation to follow-up. Patients benefit from the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques and are offered the opportunity to participate in a range of clinical research trials.

Advanced Cardiovascular Care
Patients referred to the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute experience a healthcare environment in which the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options are supported by state-of-the-art technology and a commitment to medical excellence through research. Expertise is available in all areas of cardiovascular care, including:

Cardiac SurgeryVascular SurgeryCardiology

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

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