Implanted monitor accurately detects heart rhythm disturbances

Feb 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Doctors soon may be able to more accurately monitor heart rhythm disturbances and gauge the severity of atrial fibrillation (AF) with a new algorithm used in the Reveal XT leadless implantable heart monitor, according to research reported in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, a journal of the American Heart Association.

“Patients with atrial fibrillation may be at significant risk for severe cardiovascular events due to the presence of the ,” said the study’s lead author, Gerhard Hindricks, M.D., Ph.D., who is also a professor at the Center of the University of Leipzig in Germany.
Detecting AF — and adequately treating it — is crucial, Hindricks said, because patients often don’t have symptoms.

Some 2.2 million Americans have AF, in which the heart’s two upper chambers - the atria - quiver instead of beating effectively. Blood isn’t completely pumped out of them, so it may pool and clot, raising the risk of stroke. Roughly one in seven strokes occur in people with AF, according to American Heart Association statistics.

In the study, 247 patients suspected of having sporadic irregular heart rhythms were implanted with the Reveal XT monitor and outfitted with a Holter monitor. This allowed researchers to compare heartbeats recorded by each monitor for the 46-hour study period. The Reveal XT monitor, which is the size of a camera’s memory stick, was inserted just under a patient’s skin using local anesthesia. A Holter monitor is commonly used to detect AF. It has wires attached to the chest and is worn on the waist much like a music player.

The study enrolled patients from 24 medical centers, mainly in Europe and Canada. Patients had an average age of 57, and 67 percent were men. About 10 percent had a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack.

The researchers found that the new computation method with the Reveal monitor was highly sensitive, correctly detecting AF in 96.1 percent of all patients with AF.

“Even with repetitive, seven-day Holter monitoring, may not be detected in a significant number of patients,” said Hindricks. He expects the new device to be used as a way to assess treatment of patients. “Only continuous long-term rhythm monitoring will be able to precisely define the rhythm outcome or efficacy of such treatment,” he said.

Hindricks added that further studies are needed to determine the longer-term accuracy of the Reveal monitor. “The device has a limited data storage capacity (49.5 minutes of data), and this may be a limitation during longer follow-up periods - especially since the presence of false positive episodes may exceed the storage capacity in some patients. Thus, long-term performance and validation studies are needed to find the optimal way of handling the device.”

Explore further: Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kidney disease increases the risk of stroke in patients

Mar 04, 2009

Chronic kidney disease increases the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common type of heart arrhythmia, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente researchers in the current online issue ...

Surgeons announce advance in atrial fibrillation surgery

Apr 07, 2008

Heart surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report that by adding a simple 10-20 second step to an operative procedure they achieved a significant improvement in the outcome for the surgical treatment ...

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

21 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.