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The first patient received a new type of wireless (Leadless) pacemaker at Homolka

It has been 11 years since Prof. Petr Neužil's team at the Na Homolka Hospital was the first in the world to implant a Leadless pacemaker. However, he is still significantly involved in its further innovations. The latest news is the successful implantation of a new generation wireless pacemaker in the first patient.

Leadless pacemakers allow arrhythmias to be addressed even in patients with anatomical anomalies or defects after previous heart surgery, for whom the standard pacing method using a device and a cardiac electrode is not suitable.

With this state-of-the-art pacemaker type, a newly attached catheter allows cardiologists to insert the device directly into the right ventricle of the heart without using traditional transvenous pacing electrodes. Which means there is no risk of infections, mechanical damage or interactions with other cardiac implants. It also features a temperature sensor embedded on the surface of the pacemaker. This allows the device to detect patient movement from even minimal changes in blood temperature, and can automatically adjust for faster pacing to keep the patient comfortable even with a more active lifestyle. During implantation, it is also possible to non-invasively map the optimal location for the final anchoring of the pacing capsule.

"The second generation of the wireless device, which we have developed and tested in recent years, makes the actual performance faster and easier. At the end of the pacemaker is an active coil that screws into the heart tissue, securing the pacemaker in the heart itself. The spiral is also the stimulating part of the device, which means we get immediate feedback on the success of the stimulation at that point in the heart. We have not been able to use this with other wireless pacemakers," comments Prof. Petr Neužil, who introduced the new type of device to the first patient at Homolka.

In the United States, a dual-cavity wireless pacemaker has now been introduced - two separate wireless pacemakers implanted in two different heart compartments that communicate with each other without being connected to each other. This type will be available to patients in the European Union within six months. "We have tested it in animal laboratories, and even the first in-vivo implantation has shown that this type of pacing has great potential to address heart failure with so-called physiological pacing. We are looking forward to this new technology and will soon be conducting the first validation studies," adds Prof. Neužil.

Wireless pacemakers are routinely implanted at the Homolka Cardiac Centre, and Prof. Neužil's team has the most experience with them in Europe.