World's smallest Medtronic Micra pacemaker: Cardiac pacing game change?

December 15, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Medical Xpress)—Device maker Medtronic has accomplished a feat in device miniaturization, this time in the form of an implantable cardiac device the size of a large vitamin. Earlier this month, Minneapolis-based Medtronic said the first in-human implant of the world's smallest pacemaker, without surgery, has taken place in Linz, Austria, as part of a global clinical trial.

The 's size and the fact that it can be implanted without surgery are the key features. The is called the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (Micra TPS). The implant does not require a surgical incision in the chest. Pat Mackin, senior vice president for Medtronic and president of the company's cardiac rhythm disease management business, compared it to a traditional pacemaker. "There's no more generator. There's no more lead," he said. Rather, it can be directly introduced into the heart in a minimally invasive procedure, to eliminate a potential source of device-related complications. The device is 24 millimeters long and 0.75 cubic centimeters in volume, far smaller than the traditional size of a conventional pacemaker.

The device is delivered directly into the heart through a catheter inserted in the femoral vein, sent up through the femoral vein with a catheter, and placed right inside the heart. The little device will perform the same function as the traditional system.

"It's just a phenomenal development" said Dr. Bill Katsiyiannis with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. He said that eliminating the lead and pocket for the device.represents a huge advance. In Austria, the head of cardiology at Linz General Hospital also spoke about the advantages in Micra TPS. " Because of its small size and unique design, the Micra TPS can be introduced directly into the heart via a minimally invasive procedure, without the need for leads," said Clemens Steinwender, M.D., head of cardiology at the Linz General Hospital in Linz. "The combination of this novel technology with a transcatheter procedure can benefit patients by potentially reducing pocket or lead complications and recovery times observed with traditional surgical pacemaker implants."

The pacemaker delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device. Once positioned, the pacemaker is securely attached to the wall and can be repositioned if needed.

The Micra TPS is an investigational device worldwide. A clinical trial will enroll up to 780 patients at approximately 50 centers. Initial results from the first 60 patients, followed up to three months, are anticipated in the second half of 2014.

Explore further: St. Jude Medical gets European approval for first wireless pacemaker

More information:

Related Stories

Pacemaker for slow heart rhythm restores life expectancy

September 2, 2013

Pacemakers implanted for slow heart rhythm restore life expectancy to normal levels, reveals research presented at ESC Congress 2013 today by Dr Erik O. Udo from the Netherlands. The findings provide a new reference point ...

Wireless pacemaker shows promise in early study

May 9, 2013

(HealthDay)—Scientists report positive results in early testing of a wireless pacemaker that's placed in the heart instead of being connected to it via wires from the upper chest.

Recommended for you

Macrophages shown to be essential to a healthy heart rhythm

April 20, 2017

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led research team has identified a surprising new role for macrophages, the white blood cells primarily known for removing pathogens, cellular debris and other unwanted materials. In ...

3-D-printed patch can help mend a 'broken' heart

April 14, 2017

A team of biomedical engineering researchers, led by the University of Minnesota, has created a revolutionary 3D-bioprinted patch that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack. The discovery is a major step ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Dec 15, 2013
One step closer to everlasting life!
not rated yet Dec 15, 2013
device the size of a large vitamin

Whut? What vitamin is that huge?
not rated yet Jan 11, 2014
It's really great to see such an effort towards making the procedures less distressing and less invasive. What a great invention. Because of this I think that it is possible that someday the scalpel will be superseded; no more scars, no more pain, and no more trauma.

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.