Implantable Stimulators: Sparking Life into Failing Hearts


DENVER, Co. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Almost six and a half million Americans suffer from some form of heart failure. This year, 960,000 new patients will be diagnosed with it. Medication helps many people, but when it doesn’t, their only option is a heart transplant. But now, a new device is sparking life into failing hearts.

One in 20 adults has heart disease. One person dies every 33 seconds from it. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. Failing hearts.

“When you have weak heart muscle, you can either die because of progressive heart muscle dysfunction or because of sudden death,” Cardiologist at Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates, Richard Jantz, MD.

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Treatments include medication, stents, bypass surgery and pacemakers. But now, there’s a new way to keep hearts beating.

“Barostim, which is a novel approach to modulate the autonomic nervous system,” Dr. Jantz says.

Used in combination with heart failure medication, Dr. Jantz implants the Barostim device just under the skin.

Dr. Jantz explains, “It stimulates the carotid sinus, and it tends to modulate the adrenaline levels and the vagal tone.”

Baroreceptors are responsible for telling the nervous system how to regulate heart, kidney, and vascular function. By activating proper regulation of these functions, the workload on the heart is reduced, helping it to pump more effectively.

“It improves your quality of life and your functional capacity, reduce your risk for hospitalization, but it also improves the likelihood that you would not require a heart transplant or a ventricular assist device,” Dr. Jantz further explains.

It was the only thing that helped Eric Berkowitz.

“Now since I have the device, I can walk a two-mile track with him and not be panting. He pants more than I do,” Eric says.

Barostim helping Eric and his dog Bobo keep on walking.

The Barostim procedure is an outpatient procedure and is FDA-approved. Now, new studies are being done to implant the wires without any incisions.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer; Sharon Dennis, Editor.

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REPORT:        MB #5332

BACKGROUND: Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood effectively, leading to insufficient blood flow to meet the body’s needs. It is not a sudden stoppage of the heart but rather a gradual decline in the heart’s ability to function properly. There are two types of heart failure: left-side heart failure and right-side heart failure, which can be caused by left-side heart failure. In the United States, over six million adults will experience heart failure. People most at risk for heart failure are those who smoke tobacco, eat fatty foods, don’t get enough physical exercise, or abuse alcohol.


DIAGNOSING: Symptoms of heart failure include, but are not limited to: shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in lower limbs, irregular heartbeat, wheezing, a persistent cough or coughing up pink mucus, swelling in abdominal area, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and/or chest pain. Doctors can diagnose heart failure with blood tests, chest X-rays, ECGs or EKGs, echocardiograms, ejection fractions, exercise tests or stress tests, CT scans, MRIs, coronary angiograms, and/or myocardial biopsies. Treatment for heart failure can range from ACE inhibitors to Beta blockers to diuretics, depending on how severe the condition is.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: A new implantable stimulator is on the market to treat heart failure – it’s called Barostim. “Barostim is a simple and implantable device that works by stimulating baroreceptors – natural sensors in our body that tell the nervous system how to regulate heart, kidney and vascular functions. These effects may reduce the heart’s workload and help it pump more efficiently, helping to relieve the symptoms of heart failure.”



Miriam Halazon                                                           Alicia Chapman             

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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Richard Jantz, MD, Cardiologist

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