Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New hope for heart failure patients

"A therapy called cardiac resynchronisation can significantly delay the progression of heart failure, according to a major international study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The treatment reduced the risk of serious heart failure events by 41 percent, the study found. 'This shows, for the first time, that the onset of heart failure symptoms and hospitalisation for heart failure can be delayed with pacing therapy,' said Dr David Wilber, a co-author of the study and director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. A device implanted in the upper chest delivers electrical impulses that help synchronise contractions of the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber. The study included 1,820 patients from 110 centres in the United States, Canada and Europe. Loyola enrolled 13 patients. All patients in the trial had been diagnosed with early stage, mild heart failure (Class 1 and Class 2 on the New York Heart Association classification system). The study's principle investigator is Dr Arthur Moss of the University of Rochester Medical Centre" - Science Centric

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