Saturday, May 15, 2004

Woman tests heart device

She's the first in global study

By Matt Leingang
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A Tristate woman is the first patient enrolled in a worldwide study to determine why a promising treatment for congestive heart failure works in some people but not others.

The treatment involves a combination of drugs and the next generation of pacemaker technology to improve the way the heart functions.

In March, Audrey L. Hall, 80, of Milan, Ind., was implanted with a biventricular pacemaker at Christ Hospital. The device is designed to synchronize the pumping action of the heart when the right and left ventricles are out of rhythm.

A standard pacemaker works on just the right ventricle of the heart.

About 300 patients are being tapped for the study at medical centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. Medtronic Inc., a Minneapolis-based company that makes the device, confirmed that Hall is the first.

Doctors at the Ohio Heart Health Center are conducting the study locally along with the Lindner Clinical Trial Center. Since March, six other local patients have been fitted with biventricular pacemakers and enrolled in the study.

Biventricular pacemakers were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001. Doctors are still trying to determine which patients would benefit most from this new technology.

So far, about 70 percent of patients who receive the device report feeling better, said Dr. Eugene Chung, director of the heart failure program at Ohio Heart Health Center.

The mystery is why not all patients respond.

Hall, a retired schoolteacher, said her pacemaker is working well. Before receiving it, Hall was constantly short of breath and battled fatigue. Medications were not working, which is why her cardiologist recommended the study.

"Now I can walk again without getting too run down," Hall said. "This basically was my last option, as far as my life is concerned."

Heart failure is not a specific disease. It is a condition or syjdrome that can be brought on by a variety of health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or damage from a prior heart attack.


Attendance builds despite wet start
Take our trash, towns say, but don't disturb our sleep
Downtown safe despite killing, police say
EPA calls Fernald plan illegal
Items left behind by ancients found

Jammin' rocks Central Parkway
Pops, singing cop arouse emotions
'Orphans' depicts a life on the fringe
'Hansel' overcomes hip conceit

Degree from Art Academy opens door to European study, travel
Park swimsuits: Keep it clean, and no metal
Walnut Hills troupe puts on a believable 'Picnic'
GOP compares Kerry to cicadas
Clifton plans move forward
Health coverage juggled in game
Woman tests heart device
City asked to regulate rent-to-own
Five charged in fatal shooting
News briefs
Neighborhood briefs
Ex-public defender avoids arrest
Cleveland suburb ends practice of allowing use of substitute jurors
Ohio Democrats pick Springer as delegate
Ohio court blasted for soliciting flight
Public Safety briefs
Tire pile going down slowly

Jesus scholar speaking at Knox Church
Good Things Happening

G. Edmondson lived 15 years with new heart
Robert McKenna of F&M Group proud Elder grad

Builder submits revised plan
Latonia's classic car show shut down
Covington race narrows soon
State projecting surplus this year
State approves treatment plant