The Micra AV; the world's smallest pacemaker with atrioventricular (AV) synchrony. A new device, specially developed by IJN for the treatment of patients with an AV block in thier heart, extends the most advanced pacing therapy to more patients than ever before. Photo: Bernama

The National Heart Institute novel pacemaker

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Heart Institute (IJN) has created yet another milestone in the global healthcare industry when it became the first hospital outside of the United States to implant Micra AV pacemaker, an implantable device for the treatment of a slow heart rate via pacing.

IJN chief executive officer Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim said Micra AV is the world’s smallest pacemaker with atrioventricular (AV) synchrony that is used to treat patients who suffer from AV block, which is a form of heart rhythm blockage where the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart have been impaired.

He said previously some of the heart patients were unable to receive pacemakers due to the surgery required to implant traditional pacemakers and the risk of developing long term complications with the device.

“As it is a leadless pacemaker, the Micra AV greatly reduces the risk of patients experiencing complications such as displacement.

“Additionally, the Micra AV is about the size of a vitamin supplement capsule, making it one of the smallest pacemakers in the world so doctors are able to implant this pacemaker through a minimally-invasive procedure, therefore, eliminating the need for extensive surgery,” he said during a press conference held at IJN, here, yesterday.

Dr Aizai Azan also said IJN has been deeply involved with the device development as well as the pre-clinical studies since 2018.

Meanwhile, IJN senior consultant cardiologist and a member of the cardiac electrophysiology team, Dr Azlan Hussin said the device came at the right time when the IJN medical team was brainstorming on minimising exposure to Covid-19.

To date, six patients had undergone the treatment with the first was on March 19, he said adding that the leadless pacing technology offered a host of potential benefits and shorter procedure time as it only takes 15 to 45 minutes to implant the device, depending on the patient’s heart condition.

“The latest was on Tuesday, involving an 81-year-old man … we will carry out the procedure when there is a need (for the treatment) and there is no age limit set for the treatment,” he said.

Dr Azlan said Micra AV is also designed to provide a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers, without the complications associated with leads in the long run.

“It is small enough to be delivered through a catherer and implanted directly into the heart with small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device.

“In addition, the Micra AV is one-tenth of the size of a traditional pacemaker but still delivers the most advanced pacing technology,” he said.

Developed and manufactured by Medtronic Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Micra AV is the first implantation performed outside of the United States and it was done within a couple of months after receiving the pre-market approval last January. – Bernama