When to Use Implantable Cardiac Monitor?
According to David Man, the director of electrophysiology services at Holy Spirit, an Implantable Cardiac Monitor can be used in select cases such as undetected / undocumented yet suspected Arrhythmias. Additional candidates include patients with other symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, fainting or chest pain that could indicate a cardiac arrhythmia, the doctor may use the cardiac implantation device to help them collect enough data for a diagnosis.
The new Implantable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) from Medtronic is called the Reveal DX. This device is very small compared to previous generations of ICM devices. The Reveal DX is only about the size of a golf tee or 1/3 the size of a AAA batter. The size is greater than 80% smaller than the earlier generation. Once implanted, the device has a battery life of up to three years and the ECG data can retrieved with a wireless monitoring device.
The ICM device can be useful in cases where patient complain about very transient symptoms (such as passing out) but only occur a few times each year. Traditional devices only record for 24 hours up to 30 days. If the event is more transient than 30 days, then the event will go undetected.
The procedure is simple and virtually painless. It only takes 10 minutes or less with little to no recovery time as in other previous procedures.
Although the length of time may be perceived as a disadvantage, the comfort of the device is second to none. Further, the device has remote monitoring capabilities which can provide a ‘piece of mind’ for both the ordering physician and the patient. The ICM device has automatic detection capabilities where it can wirelessly transmit any abnormal data to an external device.