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Archive for the ‘Cardiology -Pacemakers and ICD’ Category

Artificial pacemaker is one of the major discoveries in cardiology that has given new lease of life to patients suffering from serious bradycardia and heart blocks . Now, the technology has grown beyond pacing , for delivering shock ,defibrillate , resynchronise failing heart etc. For accomplishing  all these tasks we need electrical power . . . non stop on board !

Though , the energy required for sustaining an electric pacemaker is miniscule (About 40 micro watts) still, the lithium ion battery can last only around  10 years with the available technology.Various alternate sources for power* are being  explored. One great innovation is on the horizon .A new “scientific spark”  came from a totally unexpected  quarter.

 If Automatic Swiss watch can run without a battery  life long ?  Why not a cardiac  pacemaker  ?

 How about harvesting mechanical energy from the heart itself  ? (The ultimate biological bundle of energy ! ) .

The concept was  originally suggested by University of Berne Switzerland , researchers from Stanford has successfully used the cardiac  muscle activity as a dynamo to generate and store minute amount of electricity that can sustain heartbeats in an electro  mechanical coil loop model.

heart-powered-pacemaker

A person’s heartbeat  moves a magnet and generate electricity for a pacemaker

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Trials done on pig’s heart are promising .(Reference 1)

Final message 

The idea may look dramatic , but it works.Hope  it becomes reality in our patients in near future.

Further reading

* Creating gene modified  biological pacemaker cell is .

Sharing this  article from  Via: New Scientist

By Lisa Zyga
Science Blogger
InventorSpot.com

  At first glance, this idea seems somewhat impossible, like using the movement of an engine’s pistons to power a car. However, researchers David Tran and his colleagues from Stanford University explain in a recent patent that the idea is very plausible. For one thing, a heart-powered pacemaker can generate and store more electricity than required to operate, and use the stored energy when needed. Also, a battery could be included in the pacemaker, and power from the heart would extend the life of the battery.

Overall, the researchers hope that the invention could at least double the lifetime of today’s pacemakers. Currently, the batteries in pacemakers can last up to ten years, although they typically last only four to five years. (Originally, batteries lasted for as little as a year.)

The invention also has the potential to reduce the size of the pacemaker by one-half or more. For example, a typical commercial pacemaker with a volume of 16 milliliters may be reduced in overall size to as small as 1-8 milliliters.

An embedded generator could continuously produce power in several ways, such as through electromagnetic induction or the piezoelectric effect (electric energy generated via mechanical stress).

In the Stanford team’s design, the generator is implanted near the heart wall, such as attached to the myocardium or pericardium, which would subject the generator to regular pulsating movements produced by the beating heart.

The generator itself consists of a magnet, a conductor (both micro- or even nano-sized), and electrical leads hooked up to the medical device. Contraction of the heart muscle causes relative motion between the magnet and the conductor (such as a coil of wire). This relative motion between the magnetic and coil induces an electric current in the wire, which is transmitted through the leads to the implanted pacemaker.

Movements produced by the beating heart would have a frequency of between about 0.5 Hz and 2 Hz, which could generate between 40 microwatts and 200 microwatts of power. The pacemaker would only require about 40 microwatts, so the excess power could be stored and used for later use, such as when the heart stops beating.

Besides using the movement generated by the muscular contractions of the heart, other versions of the pacemaker could generate power from heat differentials, physiological pressures, and flows and movements, such as blood flow. And in addition to pacemakers, the researchers suggest that similar systems could be used to power defibrillators, ventricular assist devices, muscle , neurological stimulators, cochlear implants, monitoring devices, and drug pumps.

Reference

http://powerelectronics.com/energy-harvesting/energy-harvesting-poised-eliminate-pacemaker-battery

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Current guidelines advice us to wait for 40 days following STEMI to implant ICD in most high risk patients.

Why this  cool off period.? *

  • Essentially  we are waiting for the Infarct healing process to be completed.
  • By this time electrical stability may be restored. The  risk of VT/VF  declines per naturalis.
  • LV function recovery  is possible. As stunned and hibernating myocardium resumes its mechanical function and patient might  jump out of the MADIT-2  cutoff point. (EF< 30%)
  • Introducing  ICD very early  after STEMI may be a myocardial irritant and that it self can generate  arrhythmias.
  • There is a possible interference by the leads in the physiological remodeling  process.

Final message

So the cool off period is  not only to reduce  the unnecessary  ICD implantation  but also to  avoid lead related issues .

*  This 40 day rule is based on one  large study from Germany. (DINAMIT, 2004  ) . However  few believe  the rule is not absolute. There can be individual   exceptions in high risk patients with critical LV dysfunction .

Other  wise   . . . How do you digest  a death occurring on  35th day  in a patient  who is waiting for an ICD scheduled one week later ?

Reference

DINAMIT trial ICD nejm

Link to  ACC/AHA  Guidelines for ICD Implantation 2013

New development

How to bridge the 40 day gap in really high risk post MI patient ?

We can’t keep him in CCU. Here comes the role of WCD (Wearable cardiovertor defibrillator.) Life vest is  from Zoll . WCD can act like a bridge till the 40 days when the patient becomes eligible for ICD.

http://lifevest.zoll.com/

 

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Following are revered  facts  . . .  among the  “Guardians of   Cardiology” !

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When false truths are synthesized to conceal a true myth . . . where will the poor myth complain ?Following are revered  facts  . . .  among the  “Guardians of   Cardiology” !

  • Primary PCI  is a greatest innovation  in modern day cardiology .Without this modality  most  STEMI patients will buy Instant  tickets to grave yard !
  • A cardiologist who intends to  thrombolyse  a STEMI is considered as a low quality cardiologist .
  • Streptokinase should have  no place in the crash carts of modern coronary care units.
  • There is nothing called “Time window” for rescue angioplasty.
  • VVI pacemaker  will convert an electrical problem of heart block into a mechanical one by depressing LV function .
  • Digoxin is an obsolete  drug even in well established cardiac failure with dilated heart.
  • Beta blockers not only fail to control  blood pressure smoothly , it often converts  a hypertensive individual into a unhealthy one  by it’s prohibitive side effects !

 

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This post , is  probably not meant for cardiology professionals.

Few technologies are clear winners in modern medicine. ICDs play  games  that would rival the God !

What is an ICD ?

Here is a man , who  drops almost dead by a fatal cardiac arrhythmia . In few seconds  ICD  machine recognises this arrhythmia ,charges itself and  fires a shock  of about 30 joules direct current .The arrhythmia is reverted and the fellow gets up as if  nothing has happened !

Watch this video

This revolutionary devices are  to be used judiciously in individuals with high risk  for dangerous cardiac arrhythmia.

The current  indications  as on 2012

Post MI  ( Only after  4O days*)
LV dysfunction EF ≤ 35%   NYHA  II or III  ( Please note , If  ≤ 30%, even Class I  NYHA can be implanted an ICD) *Why 40 days ?  Residual ischemic, Irritable  focus  should settle down
Myocardial disease
  • Nonischemic DCM  EF ≤ 35% with documented VT
  • Rarely other structural heart disease with recurrent risk for VT ( Few HCMs)
Primary electrical disease
  • Survivors of cardiac arrest due to VF without any completely reversible causes (Includes Brugada )
  • Malignant forms of syncope  with   idiopathic recurrent VT /VF
  • Congenital Long QT syndromes not amenable to beta blockers

Reference

Guidelines ICD pacemaker 2012 ACC AHA

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