Published: Jan. 2, 2012
Updated: Jan. 2, 2012
Duke cardiologist Kevin Jackson, MD, answers questions about cardiac resynchronization devices.
Some heart failure patients need specialized care for hearts that pump with too little force.
Such patients might benefit from an implantable device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
Between one-third and one-half of ICD candidates may benefit from a type of ICD called a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device.
The CRT device is recommended for many heart failure patients who have both low ejection fractions (EF) and electrocardiograms (ECG) that show delayed and disorganized electrical activation of the heart, which can worsen the mechanical pumping problem.
A CRT device electrically paces both lower chambers, organizing the heart’s electrical activation. A CRT can increase the heart’s pumping function and decrease heart failure symptoms -- and has been shown to improve quality of life and increase exercise capacity.
CRT also can reduce your chance of being hospitalized for heart failure and has been proven to enhance survival.