Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • First in New England to use novel implantable cardiac defibrillator

  • ICD

    Antony Chu, MD, director of complex ablation at The Cardiovascular Institute, reviews a scan of a patient's heart treated with a single-lead implantable cardiac defibrillator.   


    The Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island Hospital became the first in New England, and among the first in the country, to treat a patient with an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) that uses the novel approach of a single lead to sense changes in the atrium (top chamber). When that happens, the ICD effectively shocks the heart back to a normal rhythm in the ventricle (bottom chamber).  This new single-lead ICD, which does the job of two leads, can be implanted in less time and reduces the patient's exposure to radiation.

    "This type of new technology, which was noted as an unmet need in one of my research papers 10 years ago, is changing the way we treat patients by offering many of the benefits of two leads, but with less procedural risk and with a lower cost," says Michael Kim, MD, director of the arrhythmia service at the Cardiovascular Institute.

    The new ICD lead received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in February.

    Treatment with the single-lead ICD is the latest example of how the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital is enhancing the level of cardiovascular care in Rhode Island and leading the nation in cardiac innovation.

    Antony Chu, MD, director of complex ablation, treated the first patient with this new technology on March 1. Since then, five additional patients have received single-lead ICDs.

    "Until now, many patients received two leads; however, implanting multiple leads can result in more complications. The new single lead allows the detection of top chamber rhythms such as atrial fibrillation and thus can help to improve the overall management of the cardiac patient."

    ICDs are used in patients who are being treated for ventricular complications, particularly those who have sustained a cardiac arrest, had at least one episode of ventricular tachycardia or other cardiac issues. Risk factors for atrial fibrillation include high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes, advanced age, hyperthyroidism and heart disease.

    "Traditional ICDs are designed to only sense and correct changes in ventricular rhythm," Chu says. "But this new ICD can sense changes in the atrial rhythm as well. This is a significant advancement, and we are confident that it will be a great benefit to many of our cardiac patients."