Since the first pacemaker was fitted in 1958, technology has evolved and now enables clinicians to treat heart failure more effectively.  One of these technologies is called Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT). In heart failure patients, the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) often beat out of sync, meaning the heart weakens and loses its ability to pump an adequate supply of blood to the rest of the body. 

A new technology which is now available allows the heart to be paced in more than one location. This has the potential to keep more of the heart beating in sync, with the possibility of improving the response rate to CRT, with major benefits to heart failure patients.

A large randomized clinical trial using this new multi-site pacing is currently underway and hopes to show that this therapy will further reduce the rate of non-responders.

Around 70% of people respond positively to CRT; however, approximately 30% are considered to be non-responders, which means they don’t experience an improvement in their heart function.

The Golden Jubilee National Hospital is the only hospital in Scotland involved in trial. Dr Roy Gardner, Consultant Cardiologist at the Golden Jubilee, said: “CRT has been shown to be an effective treatment for heart failure with the aim of resynchronizing the heart, making the heart pump more efficiently. It’s important to refer patients, particularly in Scotland where implantation rates are a third of those in England.”