A clinical trial at the Heart Rhythm Society‘s 2014 Annual Scientific Sessions in the US showed that an advanced pacing feature
exclusive to Medtronic pacemakers significantly delays the progression of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with bradycardia.
The Reactive ATP algorithm, which restores the heart back to its normal rhythm by pacing during abnormally fast atrial rhythms, played a key role in slowing the progression of the condition by successfully terminating atrial tachycardia/atrial fibrillation episodes. Patients benefiting from the advanced pacing also showed a 52% relative reduction in AF-related hospitalisations and emergency visits.
“Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common and costly diseases, putting patients worldwide at a higher risk of heart failure, stroke and death,” said Luigi Padeletti, professor of cardiology at the University of Florence, Florence, Italy, and principal investigator of the MINERVA study. “Surprisingly, many episodes we thought to be AF actually either start or periodically evolve into slower, more regular rhythms. By effectively terminating these rhythms, Reactive ATP appears to be the primary pacing feature significantly delaying AF progression in patients with Medtronic pacemakers.”
Recently published online in the European Heart Journal, MINERVA is the first study to find that the full suite of Medtronic advanced pacing features delays the progression of permanent AF. Beyond the Reactive ATP algorithm, which was found to have the greatest impact in delaying disease progression, the study also evaluated the effects of the following pacing algorithms:
– MVP (R) (managed ventricular pacing) algorithm, which promotes physiologic heart rhythms, thereby reducing the risks associated with unnecessary pacing in the right ventricle.
– Atrial Intervention Pacing, atrial overdrive pacing designed to counteract potential atrial tachyarrhythmia initiating events.
“In addition to significant patient benefits, these findings show there also are real-world cost implications with hospital and emergency visits reduced by more than half, which helps control healthcare costs associated with this condition,” said Giuseppe Boriani, professor of cardiology at the University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, and investigator of the MINERVA study.