Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is suggested for people suffering from con­gestive heart failure (CHF), a serious and common problem that is often due to weak pumping of the heart muscle.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) can relieve CHF symptoms by improving the timing of the heart’s contractions, or beats, which protects patients from abnormally slow and fast heart rhythms.

CRT uses a biventricular pacemaker (or defibrillator) with two wires in the lower chambers of the heart to overcome this slow or abnormal conduction. By delivering simultaneous or near simultaneous electrical impulses to both lower heart chambers (the right and left ventricles), it causes the heart to beat in a more synchronized, efficient manner. Biventricular pacing improves the symptoms of about two-thirds of the patients undergoing this procedure and also improves survival.

As people with heart muscle damage also may have dangerously fast heart rhythms, biventricular pacing is often combined with a defibrillator.