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Release Date: 2/26/2014

St. Anthony's implants its first miniature cardiac monitor

Dr. Michael Shapiro during the procedure to implant the monitor.

Dr. Michael Shapiro during the procedure to implant the monitor.

St. Anthony’s is now one of the first hospitals in the country to implant the Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) System in a patient, just a week after the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device available received approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

The patient is doing well after receiving the monitor at St. Anthony’s on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The 48-year-old woman appears to a very healthy patient, despite suffering a cerebellar stroke just a week ago. Her doctors could not pinpoint the cause of the stroke, but suspect an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) is to blame. The heart monitor will be used to try to confirm the cause.

“I was ecstatic to hear about the smaller device,” said the patient, who wanted her name withheld. “When you’re having something implanted, one of the first things you want to know is how big it is.”

The Reveal LINQ ICM is approximately one-third the size of a AAA battery: that’s more than 80 percent smaller than other ICMs. The device includes technologic upgrades that will allow physicians to continuously and wirelessly monitor a patient’s heart for up to three years, with 20 percent more data memory than a larger predecessor.

Michael Shapiro, M.D., F.A.C.C., who specializes in cardiac electrophysiology, implanted the monitor. “It’s not a new concept; what it is is a very much downsized version of the previous generation that makes delivering the device into the patient’s body much simpler,” said Dr. Shapiro.

The monitor is designed to be “injected” under the skin through a one-centimeter incision. It may take nothing more than a steri-strip to close up the incision.

“It should take five minutes to implant instead of the 30 minutes it took to implant the previous version.”

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