Cleveland Clinic performs 1st implant of leadless pacemaker defibrillator system

Cleveland Clinic doctors were the first in the world to successfully implant leadless pacemaker defibrillator systems in two patients as part of a global clinical trial sponsored by Boston Scientific, according to a Dec. 2 news release.

The device, manufactured by Boston Scientific, combines the technology of leadless pacemakers with subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Unlike traditional pacemaker-ICD's, the leadless system does not require wires to be threaded throughout blood vessels. 

"Combined use of both types of devices in a leadless approach could benefit a much larger patient population," said Daniel Cantillon, MD, research director and associate section head of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing in the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic and global principal investigator. 

"Furthermore, while life-saving, ICD shocks are both painful and psychologically traumatizing for patients. It’s our hope that the combination of a tiny leadless pacemaker implanted directly into the heart with the subcutaneous-ICD in the soft tissue will allow the majority of lethal arrhythmias to be painlessly terminated without long-term risks."

The Boston Scientific-sponsored trial will enroll up to 300 patients across 50 centers in the U.S., Canada and Europe, including patients who require a new ICD or who already have a subcutaneous-ICD system implanted.

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