hattergoon Chattergoon, 77, recently became Long Island's first recipient of the new GEM® III AT dual chamber implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), designed for total heart rhythm management. An ICD restores irregular heart rhythms to normal by electrical countershock. The GEM® III AT is the most advanced ICD of its kind, correcting for irregular heart rhythms that originate in both the upper and lower chambers.
Todd Cohen, MD, Director of Winthrop’s
Electrophysiology Laboratory and Arrhythmia Center, implants the latest
generation of cardiac devices in patients in
the EP Lab.
Mr. Chattergoon had unusual cardiac rhythms, even when compared with the many arrhythmia patients treated by Todd J. Cohen, MD, Director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory and Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Winthrop, part of the hospital's Institute for Heart Care. Most patients requiring a dual chamber pacemaker or dual chamber implantable cardioverter defibrillator have a very slow heart rate in the heart's upper chambers, and a rapid heart rate in the lower chambers. Mr. Chattergoon had the rapid heartbeat, known as tachycardia, in both upper and lower chambers.
This unusual diagnosis made him the ideal recipient of the new GEM® III AT dual chamber ICD. It can diagnose and treat both ventricular tachycardia (VT) and supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) in the atrium, atop the ventricle.
The GEM® III AT is treating Mr. Chattergoon's arrhythmias through its three essential tools, which include monitoring, intervention, and termination capabilities. The device can actually diagnose an atrial arrhythmia. It responds with the appropriate pacing therapies when a potential arrhythmia is detected. Should an actual atrial tachyarrhythmia episode occur, the device treats it immediately with customized therapy, restoring healthy sinus rhythm.
"Many patients have co-existing arrhythmias," noted Dr. Cohen. "Prior to FDA-approval of the GEM® III AT, we would have provided Mr. Chattergoon with a dual chamber ICD, supplemented with a pharmaceutical regimen."
Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, responsible for more annual hospitalizations and more total hospital days than any other cardiac arrhythmia. Upper chamber tachy-arrhythmias, known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), are usually benign, but arrhythmias in the heart's lower chambers - ventricular tachycardia, or VT - can cause sudden death.
The implantation with the GEM® III AT device reduces the risk of sudden death and also reduces the potential for disease progression. It can help
to prevent the onset of other heart diseases, and improves the circulation of blood through the heart. All in all, it can improve the patient's quality of life.
The implantation procedure at Winthrop required only 45 minutes and an incision two inches long. In testing the device after implantation, Dr. Cohen induced what he described as the patient's "normally abnormal rhythm" - the cardiac arrhyth-mia. The test showed the device to be functioning perfectly. Soon, Mr. Chattergoon was heading home.
For further information on the Electrophysiology Laboratory and Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Winthrop, call the Winthrop Institute for Heart Care at 1-800-443-2788.