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Medtronic claims clinical win for heart failure technology

Medtronic says it has a way to detect worsening heart failure that’s more effective than weight measurements. OptiVol Fluid Status Monitoring uses electronic pulses to detect the amount of fluid in a person’s chest.

When an aging or damaged heart can’t efficiently pump blood throughout the body, fluid can accumulate in the person’s lungs, signaling more serious heart failure.

At-risk patients typically weigh themselves daily, looking for sudden increases in weight that might reflect a build-up of fluid in their chests. Now, Medtronic says it has a more effective way to detect worsening heart failure.

OptiVol Fluid Status Monitoring is a feature of Medtronic’s implantable defibrillators. It uses electronic pulses to detect the amount of fluid in a person’s chest.

The company announced today that a clinical study of OpitVol found that the technology detected 76 percent of heart failure events, compared with 23 percent detected by weight measurements alone.

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Also: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a Class 1 recall related to a Medtronic catheter kit. The label wrongly states that it is compatable with one of the company’s pump products.