University of Utah Health Care Offers World's Smallest Pacemaker

University of Utah Health Care Offers World's Smallest Pacemaker

Jul 18, 2016 8:49 AM

SALT LAKE CITY– University of Utah Health Care today announced that it is one of the first hospitals in the Mountain West to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. Micra is the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the U.S. The first procedure was performed by Roger Freedman, M.D. on June 15th 2016.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, physicians at University Hospital have elected to use the Medtronic Micra TPS because unlike traditional pacemakers, the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.

“This is a totally revolutionary design in pacemakers,” says Freedman. “Pacemakers were invented about 50 years ago, and for the entire 50 years that we’ve had pacemakers they have had the same basic design.“

The Micra TPS also incorporates a retrieval feature to enable retrieval of the device when possible; however, the device is designed to be left in the body.  For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra TPS was designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.

The Micra TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for both 1.5 and 3 Tesla (T) full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, providing patients with access to the most advanced imaging diagnostic procedures available, if and when they need one.

 

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Media Contacts

Libby Mitchell
Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 801-587-0945
Email: libby.mitchell@hsc.utah.edu

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