A new US study has found that pacemakers that don’t use wires to connect the device to the heart are reducing the number of short- and mid-term complications that patients experience. The research was led by Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, US, and published in the journal Heart Rhythm. “The data from this study is encouraging, and we expect complications from leadless pacemakers to continue to decline as the technology improves and physicians gain experience implanting these devices,” said lead author Dr Daniel Cantillo, who is Research Director for Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing at Cleveland Clinic, and a consultant for Abbott and Boston Scientific. “While this research shows benefit for leadless pacing, we must keep in mind that the field is still too young to compare the long-term results of this technology, the implications of which will not be fully understood for at least another decade.”
The study compared short- and mid-term complications between 718 patients receiving the Nanostim leadless pacemaker and 1,436 patients with conventional pacemakers. At one month, the study found that patients receiving Nanostim overall had fewer complications (5.8 per cent versus 9.4 per cent). In addition, leadless pacemakers were found to eliminate lead and pocket complications, including infection. Complications among traditional pacemaker recipients included lead complications (3.62 per cent), pocket complications (0.42 per cent) and infection (1.74 per cent).