West Mumba, India (PressExposure) January 17, 2012 -- St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), a global medical device company, today announced the launch of the Accent MRI pacemaker and Tendril MRI lead. The new pacemaker and lead allow patients to undergo full-body, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to accommodate patients' current and future medical needs.
MRI scans are important because they can provide imaging information to better evaluate the presence of certain diseases that may not be adequately assessed with other imaging methods, such as X-ray or ultrasound.
Each year approximately one million pacemakers are implanted worldwide, and it is estimated that up to 75 percent of pacemaker patients could benefit from MRI scans during the lifetime of their devices. The new Accent MRI pacemaker system is an advanced pacing platform that provides wireless telemetry and algorithms to address individual patient conditions, with the added benefit of MRI conditional scanning capability.
Commenting on the Accent MRI Pacemaker, Dr. Ulhas Pandurangi, Chief Electrophysiologist at Madras Medical Mission in Chennai said, "Undertaking MRI scans in patients with pacemakers has previously been fraught with technical difficulties and challenges, and the safety was not clear. I feel I can now advise patients that a magnetic scan can be performed without compromising the safety of the pacemaker or the patient. In this particular case, I chose the Accent MRI pacemaker because this elderly patient had neurological and orthopedic ailments, and may one day benefit from an MRI scan."
The system features an MRI Activator device that provides a simple alternative option for programming the device to the appropriate MRI mode for use during the scan. A single button press on the handheld MRI Activator device can be used to program the specific device parameters to be used during the MRI scan. These parameters are pre-selected by the patient's physician and stored in the Accent MRI pacemaker.
Built on the proven Tendril lead platform, the pacing lead offers unique design advantages for safe, MRI-conditional scanning. The thin diameter makes it easier for physicians to implant, as it retains the handling characteristics of the well established Tendril platform of pacing leads. In addition, the lead features Optim lead insulation, the first silicone-polyurethane co-polymer material created specifically for cardiac lead use. The Optim insulation is designed for long-term reliability, while providing physicians with better flexibility and handling to facilitate device implantation.
Commenting on the design, Dr. Pandurangi added, "Though the Accent MRI is a highly advanced pacemaker, the leads were designed so that they are as easy to implant as those found in simpler pacemakers."
The Accent MRI pacemaker has several features that simplify patient management. These features include AutoCapture Pacing System technology that measures the heart's reaction to pacing beat-by-beat, and the VIP algorithm that enables the heart's intrinsic rhythm to prevail when appropriate, thereby reducing unnecessary ventricular pacing.
"The Accent MRI pacemaker has many advantages over what is currently available in India. It is a state-of-the-art pacemaker that offers full body, high-resolution scanning capability without restrictions, which is especially important to patients who may need an MRI scan in the chest and abdominal area," said Kaustav Banerjee, Country Manager of India for St. Jude Medical. "We are very pleased to offer this innovative technology to Madras Medical Mission as well as other hospitals."
Cardiac pacemakers are used to treat bradycardia, which is a heart rate that is too slow. These devices monitor the heart and provide electrical stimulation when the heart beats too slowly for each patient's specific physiological requirements.