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Ultrasound Device Stimulates Heart Without Pacing Lead

Device safe and effective in short term

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A new ultrasound device that achieves cardiac stimulation without a pacing lead is safe and effective in patients in the short term, researchers report in a study published in the Aug. 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Kathy L. Lee, M.B.B.S., from the University of Hong Kong in China, and colleagues examined whether a device inserted transvenously into the heart that converts ultrasound energy to electrical energy could achieve cardiac stimulation without the use of a pacing lead. The device was tested in 80 pacing sites in 24 patients during or after electrophysiology procedures.

The researchers found that pacing was successful at all sites, with consistent capture at 77 sites. The mean transmit-to-receive distance was 11.3 centimeters, the mean mechanical index during pacing was 0.5, and the mean ultrasound-mediated capture threshold was 1.01 volts. There were no adverse events or reports of patient discomfort.

"The feasibility and safety of cardiac stimulation using a remote energy source, without pain or discomfort, has been shown in the short term in patients for the first time," Lee and colleagues conclude.

The study was supported by a grant from EBR Systems Inc.

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