In a new study carried by MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, the latest type of device has been productively utilized for the very first time to support the weakened heart muscle in patients with cardiomyopathy. An embedded pulse generator works out the heart muscle by using a microcurrent, therefore stimulating the injured heart muscle to redevelop. Ideally, this could save the patient from surgery of heart transplant or at least postponement the need for one. Presently, in Europe, there are around 20 Million people (2–3% of the adult population) suffering from systolic heart failure. In dilative cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle turns pathologically enlarged so that it could no longer shrink sufficiently.
The present treatment tries to ease patients for as long as possible by optimized drug treatment. Consequently, they can be eased by technological methods like extraordinary pacemaker methods (CRT, BAROSTIM). The management of the last way out for terminal heart malfunction is the mechanical replacement (ventricular assist devices) or biological replacement (heart transplant). While, each year, almost 400 patients having advanced heart malfunction receive long-term management at the MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital’s Department of Surgery, the department undertakes about 40 to 50 heart transplants every year to cover the entire Austria and to embed the same number of heart-support pumps, although these are amongst the top figures worldwide. The newly advanced microcurrent applicator—designed by Berlin Heals GmbH—has now been productively used in humans for the very first time by hospital’s Division of Cardiac Surgery.
On a related note, recently, a new cell was discovered that is capable of healing hearts. The scientists from the University of Calgary are the first one to find out a previously unknown cell population in pericardial fluid detected in the sac nearby the heart. The discovery can lead to innovative treatments for people with injured hearts. The study was led by Dr. Paul Kubes, Dr. Justin Deniset, and Dr. Paul Fedak and was published in the journal Immunity.