A revolutionising treatment for patients with heart failure

2020-01-17 279 Views
A recent study reveals that the continuous use of a medication reduces malignant ventricular arrhythmias and improves the heart’s strength

The continuous use of sacubitril-valsartan in outpatients assisted with cardiac monitoring supervision showed a significant reduction in the symptoms of heart failure, as well as better tolerance for exercise.

[The study] shows an improvement in the heart’s strength in heart-failure patients with ventricular dysfunction that are using the medication sacubitril-valsartan. The article proves that, through remote monitoring, these medications reduce (malignant) ventricular arrhythmias, and therefore discharges from AIDs (defibrillators). This medication is revolutionising treatment for patients with heart failure, improving their symptoms and the strength of their hearts, and reducing cases of sudden death. In fact, some patients have managed to come off the heart transplant list. (Doctor Luis González, head of the Integral Cardiology unit at Quirónsalud Alicante)

The treatment is indicated for patients with heart failure and left ventricle ejection fraction equal to or lower than 50%, who remain symptomatic.

The study could be carried out thanks to continuous home monitoring performed by automatic implantable defibrillators and cardiac resynchronisers, over a period of 18 months. During this time, the study was able to prove that, after starting the new medication, there was a decrease in malignant ventricular arrhythmias, and the electric shocks provided by defibrillators, which explains the drop in sudden deaths seen with this medication. On the other hand, researchers observed an improvement in the heart’s strength after patients started the medication, a fact that has been corroborated by further studies, such as PROVE-HF.

This is the first medication in decades to provide an improvement in the survival rate of patients with heart failure. There are many hypotheses about its action mechanisms, but thanks to remote monitoring, we have shown how the lives of our patients improve, once their malignant arrhythmias are reduced. (Doctor Luis González, head of the Integral Cardiology unit at Quirónsalud Alicante)

Reduced mortality when using sacubitril-valsartan is strongly related to a modification of the risk of heart failure and the appearance of these potentially lethal arrhythmias.

How Cardiac Monitoring is Carried Out

Home monitoring allows us to fully supervise patients with cardiac devices. This service, the first of its kind in private healthcare in Alicante, offers 24-hour coverage, 7 days a week, to guarantee proper supervision and the maximum safety of the patient, attending all alerts that these devices may present.

Home or remote monitoring is the application of data transmission technology from a device implanted in a patient up to a consultation with a specialist. To carry it out, we use the information stored in the pacemaker of the defibrillator, and the patient must have a monitor capable of transmitting this information in his or her home.

In the near future, it will be possible to monitor cardiac alterations through a smartphone, thanks to the device implanted in the patient.

Currently, this form of monitoring includes pacemakers, implantable defibrillators (AIDs), subcutaneous holters and cardiac resynchronisation devices (CRT). It is a digital technology that is easy to use for the patient, capable of opening a new channel of communication with the medical centre, providing better quality of care for patients and their families.