IMPLANTABLE DEVICE FOR HEART RHYTHM MONITORING – Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR)
These devices are nowadays smaller than the cap of a pen and rectangle shaped. They allow continuous heart rhythm monitoring for long periods of time.
It is utilized in the context of the differential diagnosis of symptoms (eg palpitations) or clinical events (such as fainting), the diagnosis of arrhythmias (eg atrial fibrillation after a stroke) or even the monitoring of arrhythmias’ therapeutic response (vaginal or ventricular).
Commonly the implantation of an ILR is opted in the case that the symptom or the arrhythmia under investigation is not very often and therefore the diagnosis is practically impossible utilizing the monitoring offered by external recording devices of limited duration (24-hour Holter).
ILR devices are implanted subcutaneously to the left of the patient’s chest under local anesthesia and antiseptic. The implantation process takes less than 30 minutes. The patient returns to normal activities on the same day.
ILR devices are compatible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and, hence, do not affect any other diagnostic or therapeutic tests, if needed. If the diagnosis is reached, the battery life cycle is completed or for whatever reason it is decided to remove the device, this may be conducted with a small incision.
ILR devices feature special software able to recognize arrhythmias (tachy- or brady-). Further whith the addition of a special remote control in the size of a keychain the patient (or his/her relatives) may “force” the device to mark the electrocardiogram for evaluation by the cardiologist. The recordings are checked periodically by the treating physician, while there is the possibility of remote monitoring as well.