Cardiac Resynchronization Video
Cardiac Resynchronization (CRT-D)
Cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers (CRT-P) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-D) are implanted in heart failure patients that continue to have heart failure symptoms while on optimal drug therapy prescribed by their cardiologist. These patients also have an electrical condition in which the lower chambers of the heart contact in an uncoordinated manner, and an mechanical condition in which the heart pumps less blood than normal.
In a healthy heart both of the hearts lower chambers (right ventricle and left ventricle) pump simultaneously. Some heart failure patients have
an electrical condition called "dyssynchrony" in which both ventricles do not contract simultaneously. The right ventricle and the left ventricle do not pump in synchrony with each other. An EKG can help determine if a heart failure patient has "dyssynchrony."
A cardiac resynchronization device has two components. The components are; the implantable device and three thin leads or wires. The leads or wires are positioned, by an electrophysiologist, to the three chambers in your heart. The three chambers are; the right atrium, which is located at the top of your heart, the right ventricle and the left ventricle. The leads or wires located in the right ventricle and left ventricle help correct the dyssynchrony by reprogramming the ventricles to contract simultaneously.
A CRT-D device can also be referred to as a bi-ventricular defibrillator, and a CRT-P can also be referred to as a bi-ventricular pacemaker. A CRT-D, or bi-ventricular defibrillator corrects heart failure dyssynchrony and provides life saving defibrillation (shocks) for arrhythmias such as sudden cardiac arrest. CRT-P, or bi-ventricular pacemaker corrects heart failure dyssynchrony, but does not provide defibrillation capabilities. Your cardiologist or electrophysiologist will prescribe the appropriate device for your condition.