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CardioMEMS implant for patients with heart failure

For the condition of heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, the Heart and Vascular Center offers the CardioMEMS™ HF System, a device that can provide timely health status information that can be used toward modifying a patient’s care plan, as needed.

Patient benefits of this very small monitoring device include prompt care and avoiding potential hospitalization. Heart failure, the leading cause of hospitalization, is a common condition in the United States. There are two main types of heart failure. Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction occurs when the heart muscle is not able to pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body, while heart failure with preserved ejection fraction occurs when the heart muscle appears to be squeezing normally, but other factors cause fluid buildup. Either condition can cause heart failure symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, palpitations, leg or belly swelling, fatigue and weakness, weight gain.

The CardioMEMS sensor is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a minimally invasive catheterization procedure at the hospital. A permanent implant, the sensor is about the size of a small paperclip.

Using an external electronic unit, the patient can take a daily painless pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) reading from the device. A PAP is not information picked up, for example, during a physical exam or by checking patient weight or blood pressure. The PAP reading is then sent wirelessly to a secure website and reviewed by the hospital’s congestive heart failure disease management team. This team is composed of physicians, nurses and pharmacists. As needed, the team consults with a patient’s cardiologist regarding any changes advised in caring for the patient.

CardioMEMS HF System

CardioMEMS™ HF System
(Photo courtesy of Abbott)