ICM Better Detects Atrial Fibrillation
February 23rd 2014
A new study released demonstrated that an Implantable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) detected atrial fibrillation that was not detected (missed) by other traditional monitoring methods such as resting EKG, 24 Hour Holter Monitor and other Cardiac Event Monitoring technologies. The study called CRYSTAL-AF (Cryptogenic Stroke and Underlying Atrial Fibrillation) trial randomly evealuated 221 patients with the ICM after cryptogenic ischemic strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA). The other group of 220 patients employed ECGs or 24-hour Holter monitors. The ICM revealed (again, no pun intened!) atrial fibrillation (AF) in 19 patients (8.6%). Standard monitoring detected AF in three patients, or 1.4% after 6 months.
Further, the ICM found 74% of the patients were asymptomatic proving the ICM to be an effective method of detecting A Fib which is connected to an increase the long-term stroke risk. After 12 months, the ICM found AF in 13.1% compared to 1.8% in standard monitoring. Detecting AF in the four control arm patients took 121 ECGs, 32 Holter monitors, and one cardiac event monitor.