Pacemaker could be effective in milder form of heart failure, study finds

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A pacemaker typically only used in advanced cases of heart failure could be an effective treatment in milder cases too, according to Swedish researchers.

In a study comparing two different types of heart failure, investigators at four Swedish health systems found that a specific type of heart problem, called QRS prolongation, is measured by an ECG wave. The investigators found patients with milder forms of this problem can benefit from a pacemaker. That's because the heart failure pacemaker sends signals to both sides of the heart, which can correct the QRS prolongation and decrease the likelihood of dying from heart failure.

"This advanced pacemaker has not yet been tried on heart failure caused by a reduced ability of the heart muscles to relax," says principal investigator Lars Lund, M.D. "However, our results indicate that it could be valuable for this type of heart failure too, and this possibility is something that we must now go on to explore."

The study was published in the October issue of the European Heart Journal.


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