Some of the highly selected heart failure patients who have received the CardioMEMS device at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have shown clinically meaningful behavior changes in response to the feedback they receive on fluctuations in their pulmonary artery pressures. This feedback has prompted patients to change things like their salt and fluid intake so that they have fewer spikes in their pulmonary-artery diastolic pressure, an important step toward reducing their need for hospitalization because of acute decompensation episodes and possibly improving their long-term outcomes, Dr. Eldrin F. Lewis said in an interview.
“In our clinical practice we notice that when patients get feedback on their pulmonary-artery pressure they often change their behavior. In some patients their pulmonary-artery pressures normalized and stayed in the normal range more consistently,” said Dr. Lewis, a heart failure cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s. This apparent effect of daily monitoring of pulmonary artery pressure using CardioMEMS on patient behavior had not previously been assessed in the device’s clinical trials.
Those trials documented that diligent monitoring of pulmonary artery pressures and tweaking therapy to optimize those pressures led to significant reduction in heart failure hospitalizations, but Dr. Lewis and other heart failure specialists speculate that patients may reap other benefits.
“If we can dramatically reduce heart failure hospitalization rates in these patients, that should eventually translate into improved survival, and I think that by keeping fluid levels down it should also improve exercise capacity and quality of life,” he said.
The CardioMEMS monitoring system is marketed by St. Jude Medical. Dr. Lewis has no disclosures that involve St. Jude. He has received research grants from Amgen, Novartis, and Sanofi.
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