Stay Ahead of Heart FailureBy Scott Gabler, MD, Cardiologist, Virtua Cardiology
Imagine being able to take care of a problem before it appears. If you are living with heart failure, a dime-sized device can do just that.
The CardioMEMS™ HF System is a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor that allows us to detect a worsening of a person’s heart failure up to a week before symptoms become apparent, such as weight gain, swelling, and increased shortness of breath.
Feeling the Pressure
Heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization for people 65 and older.
Pressure in the pulmonary artery—a large vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs to be enriched with oxygen—increases as an individual’s heart failure worsens (a condition called acute decompensation).
Increased pulmonary artery pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure.
The small sensor, made by Abbott, is placed in the pulmonary artery using a catheter. It does not need batteries. You cannot feel it, and it will not interfere with your daily life or other implanted devices, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator.
The sensor is paired with a special pillow and scanner that you use at home to take daily pressure readings. The results are transmitted wirelessly to a secure website.
If there is an increase in pressure, our staff contacts you to make a medication adjustment or come into the office.
Staying Out of the Hospital
A recent study in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure found a 57% reduction in heart failure-related hospitalizations in people who had the device. Other research has reported lower rates of death and improved quality of life among recipients.
Our ability to detect a worsening of your condition early allows us to stay a step ahead. We can make changes to your medical therapy, hopefully avoid a stay in the hospital, and dramatically improve your quality of life.
Take Your Heart Care to the Highest Power
Our team of heart failure experts focus on improving your quality of life and reducing your risk of being admitted to the hospital. Learn more here about our heart failure program or call 888-847-8823 to make an appointment.
Updated May 13, 2021