updated 3/14/2011 12:41:31 PM ET 2011-03-14T16:41:31

NEW YORK, March 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Winthrop-University Hospital, a leading-edge medical center in Mineola, New York, is the first regional medical center to implant a new pacing system, an MRI-safe pacemaker, in a cardiac patient on Long Island.   Dr. Todd Cohen, M.D., Director of Electrophysiology & Pacemaker/Arrhythmia Center at Winthrop-University Hospital, who completed the procedure was also a Lead Investigator in the clinical trials that resulted in FDA approval one month ago.

"We are very excited about being able to offer this technology here at Winthrop," said Dr. Cohen. "This device will be revolutionary to the management of chronic diseases in the future." 

Unlike traditional pacemakers, this particular pacing system, the Revo MRI Sure Scan, is safe for patients who may need MRIs in the future. Prior to this pacing system, patients with implanted pacemakers were not recommended to have any MRI procedures because of potential risks. Previously patients might face serious complications if these two technologies were combined. Dangers include interference with pacemaker operation, damage to system components, lead or pacemaker dislodgement or change in pacing capture threshold. The new MRI-safe pacemaker is the first device to enable patients with a pacemaker to also have safe MRIs.

The patient who received the first implant on Long Island, a 58-year old woman, is an ideal candidate for this kind of pacemaker. "Kathleen is a relatively young woman who will probably need a number of pacemakers in her life, and she will likely need a number of MRIs, as a normal person ages and goes through the wear and tear of everyday life," said Dr. Todd Cohen. 

As a Principal Investigator, Dr. Cohen, along with Winthrop-University Hospital's Douglas Katz, M.D., F.A.C.R., Vice Chairman of Clinical Research and Education, Department of Radiology, and Director of Body Imaging, played a key role in the FDA trial that led to the approval of this device. Additionally, Winthrop was the only hospital on Long Island to participate in the trial, which involved the placement and evaluation of the device. 

"Pacemakers are very important devices for treating slow heart rhythm problems," said Dr. Cohen. "And many people with slow heart rhythm problems will, at some point in their life, require an MRI. Whether they have a stroke, a brain injury, or they need their hip evaluated, an MRI is often the diagnostic treatment of choice."

The number of patients in need of MRI scans increases each year, as does the number of people with implanted cardiac devices. Each year approximately 30 million MRI scans are performed in the U.S. and 320,000 Americans receive a pacemaker. Furthermore, an estimated 200,000 patients in the U.S. annually forego an MRI scan because they have a pacemaker.

About Winthrop-University Hospital

Winthrop is a 591-bed teaching hospital located on Long Island in Mineola, NY. A major regional healthcare resource, the Hospital offers a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services and features extensive medical education and research programs. Winthrop has earned many prestigious accreditations, including designations as a New York State (NYS) Stroke Center, NYS Regional Perinatal Center and Regional Trauma Center, and is known across New York State for its excellent outcomes in interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery. For additional information about Winthrop-University Hospital, call 1-866-WINTHROP.

CONTACT: Nicky McHugh, Stanton Public Relations
         (646) 502-3526
         
         Wendy Goldstein, Director, Public Affairs
         (516) 663-2234

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