Heart Rhythm Society
Heart Rhythm Society
May 16, 2016
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Leadless pacemakers, subcutaneous ICDs compatible

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SAN FRANCISCO — In this video from the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions, Fleur Tjong, MD, from Amsterdam Medical Center, and Martin Burke, DO, from the University of Chicago Medicine, discuss advances in communication between leadless pacemakers and subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

This compatibility could make a positive impact on patients at high risk for sudden cardiac death, they said.

In preclinical studies by Tjong and colleagues, anti-tachycardia pacing-enabled leadless pacemakers were implanted in animals with existing subcutaneous ICD implants, allowing for unidirectional communication between the technologies.  

“We can start with a pacing system and if the patient develops a need for an ICD, we can add the second system,” Tjong said. “That's a really new concept of this module approach and I think that can be very beneficial for our patients.”

Burke said that “not having to go in the transvenous space or having to extract something to make room for a high-voltage lead … is much safer for the patient. We want to make things … simple to implant and much safer to the patient in the long run.”