Miniaturized Heart Device Provides Patients with the Most Advanced Pacing Technology Available

Holy Cross Hospital Offers the World's Smallest Pacemaker

(Silver Spring, Maryland) – Holy Cross Hospital, part of the Holy Cross Health System, today announced that it is the first hospital in Maryland to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. The first procedure at Holy Cross Hospital was performed by Michael A. Lincoln, MD, a renowned expert on cardiovascular cardiac pacing and electrophysiology.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually of fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

"This device is comparable in size to a large vitamin," said Dr. Lincoln, "and unlike traditional pacemakers, it does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. It is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible."

The Micra TPS also incorporates a retrieval feature to enable retrieval of the device when possible; however, the device is designed to be left in the body. For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra TPS was designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.

The Micra TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for both 1.5 and 3 Tesla (T) full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, providing patients with access to the most advanced imaging diagnostic procedures available, if and when they need one.

Holy Cross Health offers an extensive range of cardiac care services designed to diagnose and treat patients with cardiac disease, including noninvasive diagnostic testing, inpatient care and monitoring in dedicated inpatient cardiac units, cardiac rhythm management, emergency angioplasty for heart attack, cardiac catheterization, interventional procedures, and heart failure management and education.

Holy Cross Hospital Offers the World's Smallest Pacemaker

Holy Cross Hospital has long been a leader in cardiac rhythm management with several “firsts” for new advances in implants. The hospital was the first community hospital in Maryland to treat a patient with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), the first hospital in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to implant the world’s thinnest bipolar pacing lead, and the first hospital in the state to implant a biventricular pacemaker outside a research setting.

"Use of this state-of-the-art pacing system further demonstrates our commitment to the quality care of our patients," said Judith Rogers, RN, Ph.D., President Holy Cross Hospital. "This particular technology gives our physicians options to provide a better care experience and we are proud to be the first hospital in the area to offer this service."

For more information contact Kristin Feliciano, chief strategy officer, Holy Cross Health at 301-754-7017.

Holy Cross Health, founded in 1963 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, is a comprehensive Catholic health care delivery system that includes two hospitals and a network of community health centers in Montgomery County, Maryland. Holy Cross Hospital, the largest hospital in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, is located on the Kevin J. Sexton Campus of Holy Cross Health in Silver Spring. Holy Cross Germantown Hospital is the first hospital in the nation located on the campus of a community college. Holy Cross Health Network provides primary care at health centers located in Silver Spring, Aspen Hill, Gaithersburg, and Germantown and community education throughout Montgomery County.