Abbott Receives FDA Approval for Dual Chamber Leadless Pacemaker

It's roughly one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

Abbott Sign

Abbott announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the AVEIR dual chamber (DR) leadless pacemaker system, the world's first dual chamber leadless pacing system that treats people with abnormal or slow heart rhythms. With more than 80% of people who need a pacemaker requiring pacing in two chambers of the heart (both the right atrium and right ventricle), the approval significantly increases access to leadless pacing for millions of people across the U.S.

Through Abbott's proprietary i2i communication technology, AVEIR DR devices provide synchronized or coordinated cardiac pacing between two leadless pacemakers based on the person's clinical needs. The i2i technology utilizes high-frequency pulses to relay messages via the naturally conductive characteristics of the body's blood between each leadless pacemaker. To support dual chamber therapy, each implant communicates beat-to-beat with a paired, co-implanted device. This conductive communication is critical, because it uses far less battery current than inductive, radio frequency or Bluetooth communication which are other alternatives used in implantable medical devices or traditional pacemakers.

Roughly one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker, the AVEIR DR leadless pacing system is made up of two devices – the previously-approved AVEIR VR single chamber device, which paces the right ventricle, and the now-approved AVEIR AR single chamber device, which paces the right atrium. The AVEIR DR system incorporates Abbott's novel i2i technology, which solves a significant engineering challenge by offering beat-to-beat communication between the two leadless pacemakers.

Unlike traditional pacemakers, leadless devices are implanted directly into the heart through a minimally invasive procedure and eliminate the need for cardiac leads. As a result, leadless pacemakers reduce people's exposure to potential lead and infection-related complications and offer a less restrictive and shorter recovery period post-implantation. 

Shorter, smaller and slimmer than a AAA battery, each AVEIR pacemaker is implanted via a minimally invasive procedure. The device attaches to the heart's interior surface with a screw-in mechanism – known as a helix – that allows for future retrieval of the device should therapy needs evolve, or if the device needs to be replaced in the future. The AVEIR DR system is also designed to provide real-time pacing analysis, so physicians can assess proper placement of the device during the procedure and before implanting the device to the inside of the heart chamber. 

More in Cardiovascular