Glenfield Hospital first to implant world’s-smallest leadless pacemaker

Medtronic's Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System chosen by Althea for ground-breaking procedure

Glenfield Hospital has become the first in the UK to fit the Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System into a patient, providing a new tool for addressing AV Block

Glenfield Hospital has become the first in the UK and Ireland to implant the world’s-smallest wireless pacemaker - the size of a large vitamin - into a patient’s heart.

Managed service and maintenance provider, Althea, provided the device for the ground-breaking procedure, which took place at Glenfield Hospital, part of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Manufactured by Medtronic, the Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is only an 1ins and treats AV Block, a condition in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart are impaired.

AV Block can cause light-headedness, fainting, and palpitations with severe cases leading to loss of consciousness, sudden cardiac arrest and it can even worsen pre-existing conditions, such as heart failure.

AV synchrony means the electrical activity of the atrium and ventricle are co-ordinated.

When the atrium and ventricles are synchronised, patients are healthier and have decreased likelihood of pacemaker syndrome, improved quality of life, and increased bloodflow from the left ventricle.

It’s not just the size of the device that’s impressive, but the technology inside is far more sophisticated than previous versions and will undoubtedly improve the lives of many local people with heart rhythm problems

Micra AV, an innovative device that can detect the mechanical movement of a beat in one chamber of the heart – the atrium – and then pace another chamber where Micra AV is implanted – the ventricle – so the atrium and ventricle beat in synchrony, was purchased and managed by Althea through its Consumable Management Service (CMS).

One-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker, the Micra AV is delivered directly into the heart through a catheter inserted in the femoral vein (in the leg).

Once positioned, the pacemaker is securely attached to the inside of the heart wall and can be repositioned if needed.

The miniature device does not require the use of wires to connect to the heart. Instead it is attached to the heart via small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device.

It is the first time this procedure using the Mirca AV has been carried out in a UK hospital and consultant cardiologists involved, Dr Riyaz Somani, Dr Pathmanathan, and Dr Chelliah, have revealed the procedure was a huge success.

Further procedures using the innovative device are now planned to take place over the coming weeks.

Dr Somani said: “It’s not just the size of the device that’s impressive, but the technology inside is far more sophisticated than previous versions and will undoubtedly improve the lives of many local people with heart rhythm problems.”

Justine McDonagh, CMS business manager at Altheam, added: “It is a real achievement for Glenfield Hospital to be the first in the UK and we are delighted to work with the hospital and clinicians to make this a reality for patients.”

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