Results from Medtronic‘s (NYSE:MDT) CRYSTAL AF clinical trial found that the company’s tiny Reveal XT continuous monitor performed better at detecting heart problems in stroke patients than current standards of care, the company reported.
The Reveal XT device is inserted under the skin near the heart where it provides continuous monitoring for signs of abnormal heart rhythms. Current standards of care include electrocardiograms, Holder monitors and other short-term diagnostic tests, Medtronic noted.
The Reveal XT device detected atrial fibrillation in 7.3 times more patients in 12 months, according to a press release. At 36 months the Medtronic device detected 8.8 times more, with 30% of patients in the arm identified.
"These study results should make us reconsider how we approach cryptogenic stroke patients. Compared to standard care, continuous monitoring is superior when attempting to diagnose AF in this at-risk patient population, and ICMs offer these patients new hope," CRYSTAL AF steering committee member Dr. Richard Bernstein said on behalf of Medtronic. "We know patients with cryptogenic stroke are at an increased risk for a subsequent stroke, and finding AF allows us to put patients on medication that should be more effective at preventing these second strokes."
Atrial fibrillation is not always associated with symptoms, making it difficult to detect or monitor. Continuous monitoring provides round-the-clock analysis of heart rhythms that may become erratic, even when they don’t manifest in any noticeable manner.