Sudden Cardiac Death
In patients with heart failure, electrical activation of the heart can become slow and uncoordinated. This often makes heart function worse, which increases the risk of life-threatening heart rhythms, sudden death and hospitalization for heart failure. “Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy” (CRT) is a special pacemaker-based therapy that has been shown to improve survival and quality of life in patients living with heart failure. CRT improves heart function by restoring electrical coordination in the heart with special pacemaker wires that are placed on the left and right sides of the heart.
Research studies have shown that most heart failure patients with severe electrical conduction abnormalities in the heart live longer and feel better after receiving a CRT device. Unfortunately, patients with less severe electrical abnormalities in the heart don’t seem to benefit as much from CRT. Placing the left-sided CRT pacemaker wire in a different part of the left heart might help these patients respond better to CRT. The goal of this study is to see whether this new way of placing the CRT wires will help heart function improve in patients with less severe electrical problems more than the usual way the wires are placed.
The results of this study will help doctors identify the best way to treat these heart failure patients so that they can live longer, feel better and stay out of the hospital. Keeping heart failure patients out of the hospital and feeling well allows them to remain productive members of the community and also takes some pressure off our healthcare system.
Improving patient experience and quality of life is an important part of this study. Therefore, patients with heart failure will be invited to play an important role in dictating how this study is performed and how the results and communicated to the heart failure community. Once the results of the study are available, patients involved in the study will determine how the information is relayed to other patients potentially with the assistance of social media, patient forums, and support groups.
Dr. Jaimie Manlucu MD, FRCPC
Director of Heart Rhythm Department
Dr. Manlucu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Arrhythmia Service at the London Health Sciences Centre (University Hospital) in London, Ontario.
She is a medical graduate of McMaster University and completed her Internal Medicine and General Cardiology training at Western University before going on to subspecialty training in Advanced Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Ottawa Heart Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard University, Boston, MA).
She joined the London Arrhythmia Service in 2012, where she is currently the Program Director for the Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Training Program and Director of Undergraduate Education for the Division of Cardiology. She has a special interest in implantable cardiac devices, laser lead extraction and complex catheter ablation. Her research interests include cardiac resynchronization therapy, the management of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, and the prevention of sudden death.