World's smallest, leadless heart pacemaker implanted at Ohio State

May 6, 2014, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
Dr. John Hummel (left) and Dr. Ralph Augostini of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are among the first in the U.S. to implant the world`s smallest pacemaker. Roughly half the size of a AAA battery, the pacemaker is designed to monitor the patient`s heart and only activate when needed. It is expected to last up to 14 years. Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

It's about the size of a large vitamin pill and, for the first time in Ohio, the smallest heart pacemaker available is being tested at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Doctors at Ohio State's Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital recently implanted the tiny device in a Columbus woman as part of a global clinical trial to test its safety and effectiveness. Unlike conventional pacemakers, which require a chest incision and electrical leads that run through a vein to the heart, this device is wireless and is threaded through a catheter, then attached directly to the heart muscle.

"With this investigational device, the battery, the pacing electrodes, everything is in a little piece of metal sitting inside the heart. We believe that will eliminate a lot of risk for infection and complications," said Dr. John Hummel, a cardiologist and principal investigator of the trial at Ohio State.

If this transcatheter, leadless pacemaker technology works the way doctors hope, they say it could not only benefit patients, but the minimally invasive approach would be more efficient.

"I think this could be a significant development in pacing procedures. This could cut our procedure time by more than half," said Dr. Ralph Augostini, a cardiologist at Ohio State.

Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center use a catheter to place a tiny, high-tech pacemaker directly into the heart of Mary Lou Trejo, 77, of Columbus, Ohio. The pacemaker is 90 percent smaller than traditional pacemakers and because it has no leads that are fed from the upper chest into the heart, doctors say the risk of infection and complications could be cut dramatically. Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

For now, the tiny pacemaker is being tested in people with bradycardia who need single chamber ventricular pacing. Bradycardia is a slow, which prevents the heart from pumping enough blood into the body. This can cause fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and fainting.

A former librarian, 77-year-old Mary Lou Trejo of Columbus, had been suffering from atrial fibrillation for years. Her had slowed, despite medication and other treatments to restore rhythm, so she was eager to be among the first in the United States to participate in this clinical trial.

"The new sounded so simple, and I have always thought research is important, so I thought this is a way I could contribute," Trejo said.

Just 24 millimeters in length, a new class of pacemaker is being implanted directly into a patient`s heart. Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say because the device is 90 percent smaller than current pacemaker models, it can be fed through a catheter placed in a patient`s leg and implanted without surgery. Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

The trial will enroll 780 patients in 50 centers worldwide. Investigators are expected to report initial results later this year, once the first 60 patients have been followed for three months.

Explore further: Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation implants its first world's smallest cardiac pacemaker

Related Stories

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation implants its first world's smallest cardiac pacemaker

May 5, 2014
The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) announced today the first implant of the world's smallest pacemaker at the Minneapolis Heart Institute. The device was implanted as part of a global clinical trial and the ...

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

December 15, 2013
(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 ...

'Smart' pacemaker can help slow heart keep up, avoid damage

November 19, 2013
A new generation pacemaker that paces only when rhythm disturbances occur can reduce the risk of permanent abnormal heart rhythms in people with a slow heart rate, according to late-breaking research presented at the American ...

Small wireless pacemaker is safe, effective in early testing

March 24, 2014
A new small, wireless self-contained pacemaker appears safe and feasible for use in patients, according to a small study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

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 ...

Recommended for you

Biomechanical mapping method aids development of therapies for damaged heart tissue

January 23, 2018
Researchers have developed a new way to capture the detailed biomechanical properties of heart tissue. The high-resolution optical technique fills an important technology gap necessary to develop and test therapies that might ...

Researchers borrow from AIDS playbook to tackle rheumatic heart disease

January 22, 2018
Billions of US taxpayer dollars have been invested in Africa over the past 15 years to improve care for millions suffering from the HIV/AIDS epidemic; yet health systems on the continent continue to struggle. What if the ...

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

0 comments

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.