International Leader in MRI-compatible Pacemakers: Third Clinical College Performed First Micra Leadless Pacemaker Implantation in 30 Minutes

        Recently, a 78-year-old male patient visited our hospital with symptoms of dizziness, fatigue and bradycardia. He was diagnosed by specialists in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine with atrial fibrillation, accompanied by third degree atrioventricular block, and needed pacemaker implantation. However, the patient’s indications showed that only an MRI-compatible pacemaker would not cause any negative impact to his future treatment and life.

        On 14 November, the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine successfully performed its first procedure of Micra leadless pacemaker implantation, which marks our Cardiovascular Disease Center’s world leading treatment solution of bradyarrhythmia.

Patient Assessment Showed High Risks in All Indexes

        The patient scheduled for the pacemaker implantation was at high risk of bleeding and infection with conventional pacemaker implantation. There are several causes to this high risk. Firstly, due to atrial fibrillation, the patient needed to take long-term oral anticoagulants to lower the high risk of thrombosis. Secondly, the patient needed to take oral anti-platelet medication due to his recent coronary stent implantation. Furthermore, aging is another risk factor of the conventional pacemaker implantation. In addition, the specialists in the Department believed the patient is highly likely to need MRI exams in future, as he suffers from cerebra-vascular disease.

        Finally, based on an analysis of the patient’s condition, underlying circumstances and risk factors, Professor He Yuquan decided that Micra leadless pacemaker was suitable for this indication. In other words, an MRI-compatible pacemaker was the best option for him.

Well-thought-out Plan Gained Patient’s Full Trust

        For such an unorthodox treatment plan, Professor He Yuquans team had full communication with the patient and his family. As the patient and his family put it, “ We came to you because we fully trust you and the Third Clinical College. We believe that such a plan is intended to help us as much as possible!” In the end, with the consent of the patient and his family, the treatment was chosen based on a full assessment of the condition and meticulous formulation of the plan.

Procedure Performed in 30 Minutes Under Local Anesthesia

        The procedure was carried out in about 30 minutes under local anesthesia and the pacemaker was implanted into the heart cavity through a catheter via a femoral vein puncture. The patient recovered very quickly after the procedure and resumed normal work and life after two days.

        The pacemaker does not require the implantation of endocardial leads or the creation of a subcutaneous capsule in the chest to place the pulse generator (pacemaker), minimizing the risk of trauma and infection. Meanwhile, the Micra leadless pacemaker can be implanted directly into the heart cavity without scars or incisions. Additionally, the procedure takes a short time and the patient can barely feel the pacemaker afterwards, which greatly improves the quality of life for them.

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MRI-compatible Pacemaker Solved Challenges of the Follow-up Treatments

        The implantation of conventional pacemakers is the first line treatment for bradyarrhythmia. Since this technology was invented, it has relieved pain for numerous patients and built up their confidence in living a good life. However, in terms of high-risk patients, complications such as bleeding from the pacemaker capsule, infection and electrode lead breakage have posed challenges for the treatment.

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▲ Micra “Capsule Pacemaker”

        Unlike conventional pacemakers, the Micra’s innovative leadless, capsule-free design significantly reduces the risk of complications. With a 93% reduction in size compared to conventional pacemakers, the Micra leadless pacemaker has the size of a vitamin capsule and weighs only about 2 g. The pacemaker has an exceptional battery life of over 12 years and is also compatible with 1.5T/3.0T (Tesla) MRI scans, thereby solving the inconvenience of diagnosing and treating other systemic diseases caused by the implantation of a conventional pacemaker.

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▲ Conventional pacemaker (left) vs. Micra leadless pacemaker (right)