Device therapy in the management of congestive heart failure.
Despite significant advancements in the treatment of heart failure over the past 2 decades, this patient population is still subject to considerably high morbidity and mortality rates. In recent years, the field of device therapy as adjunctive treatment to the medical management of congestive heart failure has grown in the wake of the large number of randomized trials that have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of these devices. The implantable defibrillator currently represents the standard of care in certain segments of the heart failure population, even in those without a prior arrhythmic event. Biventricular pacing systems appear to have a role in heart failure patients with prolongation of their QRS duration in improving ventricular performance and symptoms, if not mortality. Last, the shortage of organs available for orthotopic transplant has heightened interest in using ventricular-assist devices as destination therapy, and although there is evidence for the feasibility for this approach at the current time, there is a next generation of devices that appear even more promising.
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