Heart failure (HF) occurs when the heart’s cardiac output does not provide adequate blood to meet the needs of the body. This often causes the body to become congested with fluid in what is known as congestive heart failure (CHF). Unfortunately, there is no gold standard for diagnosing heart failure, and many different criteria, tests, and imaging techniques may be used.
Management of HF usually involves using ACE inhibitors or other drugs like beta-blockers or vasodilators that have been shown to improve quality of life and survival. In certain cases these drugs are used in addition to the implantable Bi-V/ICD pacemakers.
Heart failure patients tend to be hospitalized frequently due to worsening heart failure symptoms such as shortness of breath, occasionally resulting in death. CHF management programs require frequent physical exams and pharmaceutical adjustments to optimize treatment and avoid hospitalization. However, physical exams are often inaccurate, and utilize a wide variety of criteria to determine the severity of HF. For instance, one commonly used criterion, weight gain, is only 17% accurate in predicting HF. A recently developed technology measures lung wetness. This is a reasonable solution because CHF often causes pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs). However it is not an optimal solution because it detects a change caused by CHF rather than a change that precedes CHF.
A better alternative would be to detect the elevation in heart volume which precedes left ventricular (LV) failure. If detected early enough, accelerated treatment using drugs (often ACE inhibitors) could prevent heart failure and an additional hospital visit. Thus, for patients with Bi-V pacemakers, CardioVol is the optimal solution for heart failure management.