Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)

What is Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)?

Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is a specialised treatment for heart failure that aims to improve the coordination of the heart’s contractions. It involves the placement of a device similar to a pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to the heart to help synchronize its contractions. By coordinating the timing of the heart’s pumping action, CRT can improve symptoms, longevity and quality of life for individuals with heart failure.

CRT is typically recommended for individuals with moderate to severe heart failure symptoms, reduced ejection fraction (EF), and evidence of electrical dyssynchrony on ECG. It may be considered for those who have already received optimal medication therapy for heart failure.

Before undergoing CRT, your Specialist will provide detailed instructions on how to prepare. This may involve fasting and adjusting medications such as withholding blood thinners. The procedure is typically performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory (Cath lab). A typical CRT implantation procedure takes approximately 2 hours.

While CRT implantation is generally safe, there are potential risks, including infection, bleeding, allergic reactions, and damage to blood vessels or surrounding structures. Your Specialist will take precautions to minimise these risks.

Benefits of CRT may include improved heart function, symptom relief, enhanced exercise tolerance, and increased quality of life for individuals with heart failure.

After CRT implantation, you will be monitored in a recovery area. You may experience some discomfort or swelling at the implantation site, which can be managed with medication. Your Specialist will provide instructions on caring for the site, activity restrictions, and follow-up appointments to ensure the device is functioning properly.