May 5, 2016

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Offering Innovative Heart Failure Treatment

Implantable Device Designed to Improve Quality of Life, Reduce Hospital Admissions
BRIGHTON – St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center is now offering a new procedure designed to manage patients with heart failure: the CardioMEMS HF System. The implantable, miniaturized wireless monitoring sensor is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure.
The system features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical outpatient procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, and are one of the most sensitive measures of worsening heart failure. The new system allows patients to transmit daily wireless sensor readings from their homes to their health care providers allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.
This advanced treatment for patients of Steward Health Care is available only at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center at this time. The system is so sophisticated that it can detect an increase in a patient’s pulmonary artery pressure approximately 10 days before a patient will start to notice symptoms, said Dr. Joseph Carrozza, Chief of Cardiology at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. That early indication permits a cardiologist to adjust a patient’s medication before they begin to experience problems. Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping as well as needed to vital organs. This can result in shortness of breath, fatigue, troubling breathing and swelling. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized,  have a reduced quality of life, and face a higher risk of death.
“This innovative technology has been shown to be a key factor in our ability to treat and improve outcomes for heart failure patients,” said Dr. Carrozza. “It has been shown to lower readmission to the hospital and visits to the Emergency Department. Patients who undergo this procedure have also shown a significant improvement in their quality of life.”
The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized. 
Data from a clinical trial showed that the CardioMEMS technology reduces heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent. The CHAMPION trial studied the effectiveness of the CardioMEMS HF System in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification System class III heart failure patients who had been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous 12 months. Results of the trial demonstrated a statistically significant 28 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure hospitalizations at six months, and 37 percent reduction in heart failure hospitalizations during an average follow-up duration of 15 months.
Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have NYHA Class III heart failure, and historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030.
“ St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center is pleased to offer this innovative treatment to patients and the use of this advanced technology demonstrates our commitment to providing patients with the care they need to have successful outcomes in the diagnosis or treatment of heart failure,” said Beth Hughes, president of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.
The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit  To contact the Cardiology Department at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center call 617-789-5027.
About St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center is a major academic medical center affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine.  Areas of medical excellence include vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiology, neurosciences, general and robotic surgery, bariatric surgery, women’s health, high-risk obstetrics, bone and joint health, hematology/oncology, pulmonary medicine and emergency medicine.  St. Elizabeth’s is a member of Steward Health Care, which is the second largest health care system in New England.  Visit St. Elizabeth’s online at