Sorin Group stresses key role of pacing technology in avoiding unnecessary ventricular pacing

25 April 2006

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Mannheim, Germany. Sorin Group (MIL:SRN) has begun a European awareness campaign on the risks associated with unnecessary pacing of the right ventricle. The Sorin Group Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) Business Unit, focused on its innovative pacing mode, AAIsafeR, and on the importance of preventing over-pacing of the heart's right ventricle at the 72nd annual meeting of the German Society of Cardiology in Mannheim from 20-22 April.

Several clinical studies have demonstrated that unnecessary right ventricular pacing from cardiac implantable devices significantly increases the risk of patients developing heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF). HF and AF are two cardiac diseases that can prove fatal to patients while placing a heavy cost burden on healthcare systems.

In response to this growing evidence, Sorin Group has developed a unique pacing mode, AAIsafeR, which is designed to avoid unnecessary ventricular pacing by promoting the patient's natural electrical conduction (AV conduction). By regularly monitoring AV conduction, AAIsafeR pacing can automatically switch from physiological atrial-based (AAI) stimulation to right ventricular pacing (DDD) when necessary, i.e. only when normal AV conduction does not occur or occurs too slowly, causing blocks in the heart's natural electrical pathway (AV blocks).

AV blocks are classified into three categories according to the level of AV conduction impairment, first degree being the most benign and third degree the most severe form.

AAIsafeR is the only mode currently available that manages all types of heart blocks by delivering right ventricular pacing (DDD) only when needed. AAIsafeR also responds to conduction disorders occurring at night and to those occurring while exercising, thus allowing maximum comfort and safety for patients.

Sorin Group says that the AAIsafeR pacing mode reduces unnecessary ventricular pacing to 0.1%, an unprecedented performance which significantly reduces risks of HF hospitalization, AF and mortality for patients while treating all heart blocks. It is estimated that 60% of pacemaker patients with dual-chamber indications could benefit from AAIsafeR.

"Because it favours intrinsic atrioventricular conduction in all situations, AAIsafeR pacing mode has the potential to become a gold-standard therapy for the vast majority of dual-chamber pacemaker and ICD patients," concluded Dr. Christof Kolb from the German Heart Center in Munich (Germany), a speaker at the Mannheim Congress.

Sorin Group is currently conducting a series of workshops with cardiologists and electrophysiologists throughout Germany as part of a European awareness campaign to alert them on the importance of avoiding unnecessary right ventricular pacing.

Michael Zwick, Sorin Group's CRM Business Director in Germany, confirmed that "it is important for Sorin Group to fully inform physicians on the positive effects of avoiding right ventricular over-pacing. AAIsafeR exemplifies Sorin Group CRM commitment to provide physicians with solutions that ensure maximum safety and comfort for patients. Positive feedback to our workshops throughout Germany indicates that physicians are receptive to the campaign and understand its importance".

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