Duke doctors offer adjunctive heart therapy -- therapy meant to assist the primary treatment option -- for heart failure patients in need of specialized care.
Heart failure (HF), sometimes called congestive heart failure, results in a lack of fresh oxygenated blood to the body’s tissues and can cause patients to feel tired and short of breath and experience swelling (edema).
About half of HF patients have hearts that pump with too little force, which is measured by the ejection fractions (EF).
Duke electrophysiologists -- heart-rhythm specialists -- work closely with Duke heart failure specialists and other cardiologists to determine if patients might benefit from an implantable device such as a cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
Most patients with an EF less than about 35 percent despite medical therapy are candidates for an 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 HF patients who have both low EFs and electrocardiograms (ECGs) 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.
This resynchronization can increase the heart’s pumping function and decrease HF symptoms -- and has been shown to improve quality of life and increase exercise capacity. CRT also can reduce one’s chance of being hospitalized for heart failure and has been proven to enhance survival.
Duke offers the region's only multidisciplinary program in cardiac resynchronization therapy. The Duke CRT center seeks to better identify patients for CRT, and to optimize the programming of devices after implantation.
The CRT program involves our heart rhythm specialists and electrophysiologists under the leadership of Kevin Jackson, MD, along with heart failure specialists and imaging specialists from echocardiography, magnetic resonance, and nuclear cardiology.
For an appointment, please call 888-ASK-DUKE (888-275-3853) or request an appointment online.
Physicians offering this service include:
This service is available at: