Mayo Clinic investigates new device to regulate beating of the heart and improve pump function

October 27, 1999

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- Mayo Clinic cardiologists are investigating the use of a new pacemaker-defibrillator device that may offer new hope for patients with heart failure who also have potentially dangerous uncoordinated or irregular contractions of the heart.

Up to 50 percent of people with advanced heart failure develop abnormalities of the heart's electrical impulses, which disturb the timing of the contractions of the heart's two lower chambers, called ventricles, so that they do not contract simultaneously. When this occurs, the symptoms of heart failure, including shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling of the feet and ankles, may worsen, thereby decreasing the pumping efficiency of the heart.

"This device delivers small electrical impulses to the left and right chambers of the heart, to better synchronize the contractions of the heart's lower chambers," says Mayo Clinic cardiologist and study investigator, Paul Friedman, M.D. "We will investigate if this therapeutic approach improves the quality of life for patients with heart failure."

Until now, traditional heart failure therapies have included: medications, lifestyle modifications and heart transplant.

Heart failure affects about five million people in the United States. This debilitating disease is the most frequent cause of hospitalization for people age 65 and older, and often leads to premature death. Healthcare costs associated with caring for those with heart failure in the United States is nearly $10 billion annually.

The main purpose of the study is to assess the safety and effectiveness of the device in patients with heart failure who are also indicated for a traditional defibrillator and meet the other entry criteria.

The study will involve up to 35 investigational centers in the U.S. and will enroll 300 participants nationwide.

The device, which is the size of a small pager (66 cc), is implanted under the skin in the chest area, and three thin wires (called leads) are run through veins from the device to the left and right chambers of the heart. Only a small incision is required to implant the device. The procedures takes about two to three hours to perform and requires patients to stay in the hospital overnight.

Candidates for the study must have had at least one episode of cardiac arrest manifested by loss of consciousness due to an irregular heart beat, or have fast heart beats from the lower chambers (ventricular tachyarrhythmias). Some individuals who have pre-existing defibrillators in need of change out may also be eligible. Study participants are monitored at one month, three months, six months and every six months thereafter.

The study is expected to last between 12 and 24 months. Patients who are interested in participating in the study should contact electrophysiology clinical research at 507-255-3175 or 507-255-3177.
To receive Mayo news releases by e-mail, send a message to Include your name, affiliation, and e-mail address. Mayo Clinic news releases are available on the Mayo Home Page, Mayo Clinic health information is available on Mayo Clinic Health Oasis at

Mayo Clinic

Related Heart Failure Articles from Brightsurf:

Top Science Tip Sheet on heart failure, heart muscle cells, heart attack and atrial fibrillation results
Newly discovered pathway may have potential for treating heart failure - New research model helps predict heart muscle cells' impact on heart function after injury - New mass spectrometry approach generates libraries of glycans in human heart tissue - Understanding heart damage after heart attack and treatment may provide clues for prevention - Understanding atrial fibrillation's effects on heart cells may help find treatments - New research may lead to therapy for heart failure caused by ICI cancer medication

Machining the heart: New predictor for helping to beat chronic heart failure
Researchers from Kanazawa University have used machine learning to predict which classes of chronic heart failure patients are most likely to experience heart failure death, and which are most likely to develop an arrhythmic death or sudden cardiac death.

Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke: COVID-19's dangerous cardiovascular complications
A new guide from emergency medicine doctors details the potentially deadly cardiovascular complications COVID-19 can cause.

Autoimmunity-associated heart dilation tied to heart-failure risk in type 1 diabetes
In people with type 1 diabetes without known cardiovascular disease, the presence of autoantibodies against heart muscle proteins was associated with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging evidence of increased volume of the left ventricle (the heart's main pumping chamber), increased muscle mass, and reduced pumping function (ejection fraction), features that are associated with higher risk of failure in the general population

Transcendental Meditation prevents abnormal enlargement of the heart, reduces chronic heart failure
A randomized controlled study recently published in the Hypertension issue of Ethnicity & Disease found the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique helps prevent abnormal enlargement of the heart compared to health education (HE) controls.

Beta blocker use identified as hospitalization risk factor in 'stiff heart' heart failure
A new study links the use of beta-blockers to heart failure hospitalizations among those with the common 'stiff heart' heart failure subtype.

Type 2 diabetes may affect heart structure and increase complications and death among heart failure patients of Asian ethnicity
The combination of heart failure and Type 2 diabetes can lead to structural changes in the heart, poorer quality of life and increased risk of death, according to a multi-country study in Asia.

Preventive drug therapy may increase right-sided heart failure risk in patients who receive heart devices
Patients treated preemptively with drugs to reduce the risk of right-sided heart failure after heart device implantation may experience the opposite effect and develop heart failure and post-operative bleeding more often than patients not receiving the drugs.

How the enzyme lipoxygenase drives heart failure after heart attacks
Heart failure after a heart attack is a global epidemic leading to heart failure pathology.

Novel heart pump shows superior outcomes in advanced heart failure
Severely ill patients with advanced heart failure who received a novel heart pump -- the HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device (LVAD) -- suffered significantly fewer strokes, pump-related blood clots and bleeding episodes after two years, compared with similar patients who received an older, more established pump, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session.

Read More: Heart Failure News and Heart Failure Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to