The Reveal Linq device – about 1/3 the size of a AAA battery – is implanted by electrophysiologists under the skin near a patient’s chest through a syringe like device. It records an electrocardiogram (ECG) for up to three years. Because it can monitor continuously for up to three years, the likelihood of capturing heart rhythm information during an infrequent episode is probable.
“This device is smaller than existing technology on the market and allows us to confirm or rule out an abnormal heart rhythm more accurately than other tests,” says Michael Lim, MD, co-director of the Center for Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care (C4) at Saint Louis University Hospital and a SLUCare physician.
The information recorded by the Reveal Linq is then sent to physicians wirelessly over a cellular network for daily monitoring of a patient’s heart rhythm, and cardiologists can program the system to alert them to abnormalities.
Prior to the existence of such technology, patients would be given an external monitor, but the drawback was a patient would have to wear it during an episode. In addition, many patients feel external monitors are difficult to wear and struggle with how to put them on. Also, external devices only record 30 days of heart rhythm, limiting the amount of data a physician can study.
“Three years of data can help a cardiologist understand the cause of unexplained dizziness, connecting the dots between an abnormal heart rhythm and something as serious as an unexplained stroke,” says Richard Lee, MD, SLUCare cardiac surgeon and C4 co-director.
The heart rhythm abnormality atrial fibrillation (AFIB) comes with considerable stroke risk. Partnering with neurologists at the MidAmerica Stroke Network – an effort to improve stroke outcomes in patients founded by SLU Hospital in 2007 – Drs. Lim, Lee and their colleagues hope to better determine the potential of AFIB with stroke.
For more information, call the Center for Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care at Saint Louis University Hospital at 855-97-HEART or visit www.sluheart.com.
About Saint Louis University Hospital
Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-licensed bed quaternary/tertiary referral center located in the heart of the city of St. Louis. Approximately 75 percent of patients are drawn from a 150-mile radius. Through affiliation as the teaching hospital for Saint Louis University, the hospital provides patients and their families with an environment of medical innovation. Working in this endeavor are the hospital’s medical staff partners, SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. The hospital admits more than 17,000 patients annually, performs more than 200 organ transplants a year and is a Level I Trauma Center that treats more than 2,000 major trauma cases a year. For more information, please visit www.sluhospital.com.
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