Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)
Millions of people worldwide have a condition called congestive heart failure (CHF) and is a serious and common problem. The heart muscle is weak and doesn’t pump properly or efficiently.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) can improve CHF symptoms by improving the timing of the contractions of the heart. This results in a more powerful heartbeat, pumping more blood throughout the body.
The CRT uses a 2-wire pacemaker (or defibrillator) and the wires are in each of the ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart. By sending impulses at the same time the device causes the heart to beat in a more efficient manner. This type of device improves the pumping function in about 2/3 of the patients that receive this type of device. Some of the patients also need a defibrillator because in their particular case they have increased risk for dangerously fast and/or irregular heartbeats. Also a third wire can be used on certain patients depending on their particular rhythm and other cardiac problems. The batteries in these devices average 5-7 year lifetime prior to needing replacement.
Candidates for CRT is someone with:
- Moderate to severe CHF, despite lifestyle changes and medication
- Weakened and enlarged heart muscle
- Significant electrical delay in the lower pumping chambers (bundle branch block)