Every day cardiologists do their utmost to improve the lives of patients with heart failure. Despite all their efforts there are still many patients for whom standard therapy does not lead to the desired results and who ultimately may need heart transplantation. A therapeutic alternative for these patients is Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT).
Over the past twenty years CRT, an advanced cardiac pacemaker system, has become standard therapy for patients with heart failure and left ventricular dyssynchrony. During the CRT procedure a pacemaker device with three electrodes is implanted in the heart to restore and boost the impaired contraction of the heart, thereby preventing further decrease of heart function.
The aim of the therapy is to synchronize cardiac contraction by placement of the three leads (electrodes) of the CRT device in the right atrium (RA), right ventricle (RV) and left ventricle (LV) of the heart.
In about 70% of patients undergoing the procedure, CRT results in a more synchronous contraction and a better pump function of the heart and a better prognosis.
Despite the overall positive effect, 25-40% of heart failure patients do not benefit from this therapy at all. The main reason is incorrect placement of the stimulation electrode placed in the left ventricle of the heart.
The associated costs of these (partly avoidable) misplacements are about €1.5 Billion (cost of the devices alone). On top of that, these patients will have higher hospitalization rates and higher treatment-associated costs and some of them will need revision procedures. Procedures to make CRT device placement more accurate and effective will therefore have major health and economic impact.
With its lead medical device product CARTBox, CART-Tech has developed a technology that can extend the benefits of CRT to a larger number of patients.
Catheterisation lab, Department of Cardiology,
Utrecht Universty Medical Center