Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), also called biventricular pacing, uses a special kind of pacemaker (a biventricular pacemaker) that is designed to help the ventricles contract more normally.
The procedure involves implanting a half-dollar sized pacemaker, usually just below the collarbone. A biventricular pacemaker monitors the heart rate to detect heart rate irregularities and emit tiny electrical impulses to both of the heart's lower chambers (the left and right ventricles) so that they pump in a more efficient, coordinated manner. In effect, it is "resynchronizing" the heart.
A CRT system is made up of two parts.
- The heart device, which is actually a tiny computer, plus a battery, contained in a small titanium metal case that is about the size of a pocket watch.
- Insulated wires, called leads, that are implanted to carry information signals from your heart to the heart device and to carry electrical impulses to your heart
This therapy has been shown to improve the symptoms of heart failure and overall quality of life in certain patients with severe symptoms that aren't controlled with medication.