Cardiac Devices and Implantable Technologies

A variety of heart-related conditions can be diagnosed, treated, and managed with the use of cardiac devices and implanted technologies. These devices are made to keep track of the heart's activities, regulate its rhythm, and facilitate its function.

The following are some essential cardiac devices and implanted technologies:

  • Pacemakers: Small, implantable devices called pacemakers are used to control the heart's rhythm. In cases of bradycardia (slow heart rate) or heart block, they send electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a regular heartbeat.
  • Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs): Similar to pacemakers, ICDs also have the additional ability to shock the heart with electricity to correct life-threatening arrhythmias such ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) Devices: Patients who have certain arrhythmias and cardiac failure use CRT devices, which are frequently combined with defibrillators (CRT-D). They improve overall heart function by coordinating the contractions of the left and right ventricles of the heart.
  • Implantable Loop Recorders (ILRs): ILRs are tiny devices that are implanted under the skin to track the electrical activity of the heart constantly. They are helpful for identifying irregular heartbeats that might only happen sometimes.
  • Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs): In order to improve the heart's ability to pump blood, mechanical pumps called LVADs are implanted in patients with severe heart failure. When a patient is not a candidate for a heart transplant, they are often used as a bridge to transplant or as destination therapy .
  • Artificial Hearts: A whole artificial heart may be implanted temporarily in some situations of severe heart failure until a suitable donor heart is available for transplantation.
  • Cardiac Monitors: These include different external and implantable devices, such as Holter monitors, event monitors, and implantable loop recorders, that are used to continuously monitor the activity of the heart.
  • Leadless Pacemakers: Leadless pacemakers are self-contained, smaller devices that are implanted directly into the heart's chambers, in contrast of traditional pacemakers that need leads (wires) inserted via the veins into the heart.
  • Implantable CardioMEMS: The technology uses a small sensor that is  implanted into the pulmonary artery to track pulmonary pressure. By providing early warnings of worsening heart failure symptoms, it aids in the management of heart failure patients.
  • Bioresorbable Stents: These stents are employed in the treatment of coronary artery disease. Bioresorbable stents, in contrast with traditional stents, are gradually absorbed by the body over time, lowering the risk of long-term complications.
  • Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs): The pumping function of one or both of the heart's ventricles is supported by mechanical pumps known as VADs. For patients who are not transplant candidates, they can serve as a  bridge to transplant or as destination therapy.
  • Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices (CIEDs): This is a broad category that include implantable devices including pacemakers, ICDs, CRTs, and other medical equipment that uses electronic components to monitor and control the activity of the heart.

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