New Pacemaker Avoids Wire Complications

Wireless pacemaker was safe for most patients in early testing

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Pacemakers are lifesaving devices, but the wires that go through the recipient's veins sometimes cause complications.

A recent study investigated whether a new wireless pacemaker was safe.

The vast majority of the patients who received this new wireless pacemaker reported no complications and implant success.

The researchers suggested that the wireless pacemaker was safe for most patients who needed a device to regulate their heartbeat.

"Talk to your doctor about possible complications if you are considering a pacemaker."

Vivek Y. Reddy, MD, of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Mount Sinai Hospital, led this study.

According to Dr. Reddy and colleagues, 250,000 new cardiac pacemakers are implanted each year in the United States.

Pacemakers are medical devices that deliver electric impulses to help the heart beat regularly.

Although pacemakers lower the risk of death among patients with certain heart problems, some of these devices come with the risk of complications. Some patients experience infection when the pacemaker is implanted. Also, the wires that run from the generator through a vein to the heart can break or dislodge.

This study examined complications from a pacemaker that has no intravenous wires.

The new pacemaker is self-contained, lies within the heart, and is smaller than a triple-A battery.

The placement of the new pacemaker involves a catheter and does not require surgery.

Dr. Reddy and team followed 33 patients who underwent implantation of the new pacemaker for 90 days.

These researchers mainly looked at the rates of complications. They also took note of how many patients left the implant procedure with a functioning pacemaker.

The performance of the device was measured using a magnet test and walking tests.

The researchers found that 32 of the 33 participants underwent a successful pacemaker implantation.

A total of 94 percent of the patients did not experience any complications.

There was one serious adverse effect of the device — one patient developed a perforation during the procedure, which eventually caused a fatal stroke.

However, the authors of the study still determined that the small, wireless pacemaker seemed safe and performed well.

Additionally, these authors noted that the pacemaker would avoid wire malfunctions associated with other pacemakers.

This study was published in Circulation on March 24.

The research was funded by Nanostim, Inc. Some of the researchers reported financial ties to Nanostim, Inc.

Review Date: 
March 24, 2014
Last Updated:
March 25, 2014