OKC Medical Briefs Feb. 26, 2003

Article excerpt

What started with the first-of-a-kind medical procedure, has led to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on the results of a study of the implantable cardiac monitor device by a University of Oklahoma Medical Center physician.

The first long-term test of an implantable device that measures blood pressures within the heart may show how physicians could gain greater control over heart failure and head off symptoms that often lead to hospitalization, according to a new study in the Feb. 19 issue of the Journal. In the study of 28 heart failure patients who received implantable hemodynamic monitors, hospitalization rates dropped by half, from an average of once a year to just once every other year. Also, researchers showed for the first time that heart failure patients appear to fall into two groups - those with generally stable pressures within the heart, and others in which the pressures are highly variable.

In 1998, the cardiac team at the OU Medical Center headed by Philip Adamson, a lead investigator of the device called the Chronicle, was the first hospital in the country to implant the cardiac monitor.

"The disease is extremely expensive," Adamson said. "Most hospitalizations in patients above age 65 are for heart failure. We would hope that by using this device we could make a major dent in the need for people to have to come in to the hospital."

Adamson was lead author of the article.

Adamson and colleagues at Mid-America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Kan., Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, the University Clinic in Homburg/Saar, Germany implanted the experimental devices developed by Medtronic Inc. of Minneapolis and analyzed the hospitalization information of 28 patients for 26 months.

Similar to a pacemaker, the device is placed in the pectoral area. A pressure sensor extends into the outflow tract of the heart's right ventricle (which pumps blood to the lungs).

Adamson said he was surprised to see that the devices often began sensing pressure changes well in advance of patients reporting symptoms.

"Congestive heart failure patients typically develop too much water in their system and that water increases the pressures inside the heart," Adamson said. "I thought there might be some changes around the time of an event, but when the event was major, requiring hospitalization, we saw those changes four or five days before the patient even came to the hospital or the doctor. With that information, we were sometimes able to make changes in diuretics and avoid precautionary hospitalizations."

This study is the first to report that some heart failure patients have more variable pressures than other patients.

Adamson said a larger trial of the implantable heart pressure sensor should begin in the near future.

Publication started for women dentists

PennWell has launched Woman Dentist Journal, a publication to address the needs of women dentists.

Published six times a year initially, with the first issue in January/February 2003, Woman Dentist Journal will cover topics including clinical dentistry, scientific abstracts, practice management, and lifestyle issues for a circulation of 26,000 women dentists. Woman Dentist Journal will be published out of PennWell's headquarters in Tulsa and will also serve as the official magazine of the American Association of Women Dentists.

Woman Dentist Journal is the latest addition to PennWell's information franchise serving the dental industry. PennWell publishes Dental Economics, a practice management magazine for 100,000 dentists, RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist), Dental Student, Dental Equipment and Supplies and Proofs, which serves dental marketers and dealers. PennWell also conducts nearly 20 conferences and seminars annually on cosmetic dentistry, practice management, and retirement planning for dentists. …

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