The assignee for this patent, patent number 8725255, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Rhythmic contractions of a healthy heart are normally controlled by the sinoatrial (SA) node which includes specialized cells located in the superior right atrium. The SA node is the normal pacemaker of the heart, typically initiating 60-100 heart beats per minute. When the SA node is pacing the heart normally, the heart is said to be in normal sinus rhythm.
"The heart has specialized conduction pathways in both the atria and the ventricles that enable the rapid conduction of excitation impulses (i.e. depolarizations) from the SA node throughout the myocardium. These specialized conduction pathways conduct the depolarizations from the SA node to the atrial myocardium, to the atrio-ventricular node, and to the ventricular myocardium to produce a coordinated contraction of both atria and both ventricles.
"The conduction pathways synchronize the contractions of the muscle fibers of each chamber as well as the contraction of each atrium or ventricle with the contralateral atrium or ventricle. Without the synchronization afforded by the normally functioning specialized conduction pathways, the heart's pumping efficiency is greatly diminished. Patients who exhibit pathology of these conduction pathways can suffer compromised cardiac output. Cardiac rhythm management devices have been developed that provide pacing stimulation to one or more heart chambers in an attempt to improve the rhythm and coordination of atrial and/or ventricular contractions."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention is directed to systems and methods for pacing a heart to improve pumping efficiency of the heart. Embodiments of the present invention are directed to pacing therapies that produce a cardiac fusion response for patient's subject to cardiac resynchronization therapy. Embodiments of the present invention are also directed to optimizing therapy parameters and modifying therapy delivery based on one or more characteristics of a patient's cardiac activation sequence.
"According to embodiments of the present invention, methods for producing a cardiac fusion response involve obtaining a cardiac signal vector associated with all or a portion of one or more cardiac activation sequences. A pacing parameter, such as an A-V delay, V-V delay, lead/electrode configuration or vector, is adjusted and the cardiac signal vector is monitored during pacing parameter adjustment. A change in a characteristic of the cardiac signal vector is detected in response to an adjusted pacing parameter, the change indicative of a cardiac fusion response. A pacing therapy is delivered to produce a cardiac fusion response using the adjusted pacing parameter.
"Detecting the change in the cardiac signal vector characteristic may involve detecting a change in an angle or a magnitude (or both) of the cardiac signal vector. The change in the cardiac signal vector characteristic indicative of the cardiac fusion response may be detected for a range of pacing parameters or parameter values, and the pacing therapy may be delivered using the adjusted pacing parameter falling within the range of pacing parameters or parameter values. Detecting the change in cardiac signal vector characteristic may involve detecting a change between intrinsic cardiac activation and therapy-initiated cardiac activation.
"According to one approach, a change in a cardiac signal vector indicative of intrinsic cardiac activation is detected relative to a baseline. In response to this change in intrinsic cardiac activation, pacing parameter adjustment and detection of a change in the cardiac signal vector characteristic indicative of a fusion response are repeated. The adjusted or updated pacing parameter that produces a fusion response is stored for subsequent pacing therapy delivery. This update process may be initiated automatically or in response to local or remote user input.
"Methods of the present invention may involve detecting a change in a cardiac signal vector indicative of therapy-initiated cardiac activation relative to a first baseline and absence of change in a cardiac signal vector indicative of intrinsic cardiac activation relative to a second baseline. In response to the detected change, the pacing parameter is adjusted to produce the cardiac fusion response for subsequent pacing therapy delivery. Methods may involve accessing a look-up table of pacing parameters pre-established for the patient, such that the pacing parameters of the look-up table, when implemented, produce a cardiac fusion response for the patient. The adjusted pacing parameter may be selected from the look-up table.
"According to other embodiments of the present invention, systems may be implemented to include a plurality of electrodes configured for sensing cardiac electrical activity and energy delivery. A signal processor is coupled to the electrodes and configured to produce a cardiac signal vector associated with all or a portion of one or more cardiac activation sequences. A controller is coupled to the electrodes and the signal processor.
"The controller is configured to adjust a pacing parameter and detect a change in a characteristic of the cardiac signal vector in response to an adjusted pacing parameter, the change indicative of a cardiac fusion response. The controller may be further configured to deliver a pacing therapy to produce the cardiac fusion response using the adjusted pacing parameter. The change in characteristic of the cardiac signal vector detected by the controller may indicate a change between pacing-dominant cardiac activation, fusion, and intrinsic-dominant cardiac activation.
"The controller may be disposed within an implantable housing, a patient-external housing, or distributed in both the implantable and patient-external housing. The signal processor may be disposed within an implantable housing, a patient-external housing, or distributed in both the implantable and patient-external housing. The plurality of electrodes may comprise implantable electrodes, cutaneous electrodes, or a combination of implantable and cutaneous electrodes.
"In some configurations, the controller and the signal processor may be provided in an implantable housing, and the electrodes may comprise implantable electrodes coupled to, or provided on, the housing. In other configuration, the controller and the signal processor may be provided in a patient-external housing, and the electrodes preferably comprise cutaneous electrodes coupled to the housing.
"The controller may be coupled to memory configured to store a look-up table comprising pacing parameters associated with one or both of heart rate and patient condition, the pacing parameters established to produce a cardiac fusion response. The pacing parameters stored in the look-up table may include A-V and V-V delay parameters, electrode/lead configurations, pacing vectors, and other parameters that influence cardiac pacing. The controller may be configured to update the look-up table with updated pacing parameters in response to a change in the cardiac signal vector characteristic indicative of pace-dominant or intrinsic-dominant cardiac activation, the updated pacing parameters established to produce a cardiac fusion response for the patient. The controller may, in response to a change in the cardiac signal vector characteristic indicative of a change in intrinsic-dominant cardiac activation, be configured to update the look-up table with updated baseline values characterizing each of the patient's intrinsic-dominant cardiac activation and pace-dominant cardiac activation.
"The above summary of the present invention is not intended to describe each embodiment or every implementation of the present invention. Advantages and attainments, together with a more complete understanding of the invention, will become apparent and appreciated by referring to the following detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings."
For more information, see this patent: Arcot-Krishnamurthy, Shantha; Zhang, Yi; Ding, Jiang; Yu, Yinghong; Dong, Yanting. Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Optimization Using Cardiac Activation Sequence Information. U.S. Patent Number 8725255, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Therapy, Cardiology,
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