Can Heart Failure Be Reversed?

Sunshine Heart Inc. has developed a device it says can reverse heart failure. (Wikimedia Commons)

A new implantable heart device has been developed that has proven effective in reversing heart failure—even in some patients with severe cases.

The device—called the C-Pulse—is essentially a cuff that wraps around the aorta and pumps blood from the heart around the body, Medical News Today reports. 

Half of all heart-failure patients die within five years of diagnosis. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen around the body to support other organs. More than 5 million people in the United States have the condition.

But the new device could improve the survival odds of such patients, according to lead researcher William Abraham, M.D., of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

"The optimal drug therapies we have today often aren't enough to manage this disease for some patients," said Dr. Abraham, who reported the results of his team's research on the C-Pulse in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure. "So we are always looking for new types of therapies."

For the study, Dr. Abraham and his team implanted the C-Pulse device in 20 heart-failure patients. After a year, 16 of the 20 patients showed significant improvements in symptoms.

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