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Study says BiV pacing with CRT device improves heart failure symptoms

Medtronic's study has demonstrated that simultaneously pacing the lower chambers of the heart, or biventricular (BiV) pacing with a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device, significantly improves heart failure symptoms and quality of life in a subset of heart failure patients.

The BLOCK HF clinical trial data, presented at Heart Rhythm 2013, demonstrated significant drop in heart failure-related symptoms for patients with atrioventricular (AV) block and left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction at six, 12, 18 and 24 months treated with BiV pacing as opposed to conventional right-ventricular (RV) pacing.

University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences chair and lead investigator Anne Curtis said that the new data add to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of BiV pacing for treating patients who have AV block and left ventricular dysfunction who are indicated under current clinical guidelines for permanent RV pacing with a pacemaker.

"The BLOCK HF findings have previously demonstrated that BiV pacing delays disease progression, prevents heart failure-related events and preserves cardiac function in this patient population," Curtis added.

Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the primary trial data also showed a significant improvement in quality of life among BiV-paced patients at six and 12 months.