July 26, 2010
School of Medicine, Kochi
A National Symposium on Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy for Advanced Heart Failure recently conducted by the Department of Adult Cardiology at Amrita attracted cardiac electrophysiologists from various parts of the country and abroad.
In approximately 30% of patients with heart failure, an abnormality in the heart’s electrical conducting system causes the two ventricles to beat in an asynchronous fashion. Instead of beating simultaneously, the two ventricles beat slightly out of phase.
The asynchrony greatly reduces the efficiency of ventricles in patients with heart failure, whose hearts are already damaged. Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) uses a specialized pacemaker to re-coordinate the action of the right and left ventricles in such patients.
A relatively new procedure for congestive heart failure, CRT is considered a blessing in disguise for patients.
“Significant symptomatic relief, improvement in quality of life, reduction in duration of hospitalization and prolongation of survival can be achieved by this therapy,” stated Dr. K.U. Natarajan, who led the sharing of the Amrita experience at the symposium.
Dr. Razali Omar and Dr. Azlan from the National Institute of Cardiology, Malaysia shared their experiences with their Indian counterparts.
“Survival rates are much higher for this therapy, which is beginning to be recommended by doctors from across the country,” they informed.
During the symposium, there was live transmission of the implantation of state-of-the-art of cardiac resynchronization pacemakers.
How do these devices help patients with heart failure?
The devices, by virtue of stimulation of the heart at multiple points, achieve resynchronization of various chambers of the failing heart, resulting in improvement in the pumping function.
This was especially true for a selected subset of patients with advanced heart failure in whom optimum medical therapy did not result in any improvement.
The symposium was inaugurated by Bri. Karunamrita ji by lighting the traditional lamp. Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director was also present.
A number of physicians and cardiologists from Kerala who attended, also availed of the continuing medical education program, offered as part of the symposium.