Heart Patients with Diabetes Can Enroll in Defibrillator Trial
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Loyola Enrolling Heart Patients with Diabetes in Defibrillator Trial

Image of heart illustration with EKG background.

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine is enrolling patients in a landmark international trial to determine whether defibrillator devices can save lives when implanted in diabetic patients who have had prior heart attacks.

An implantable defibrillator can prevent sudden death from cardiac arrest by treating life-threatening arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). The device continually monitors the patient’s heart rhythm. If the heart begins to beat dangerously fast or chaotically, the device restores normal rhythm with an electric shock.

Diabetic patients who have had a heart attack may be at risk of dying suddenly from life-threatening arrhythmias. However, there currently is no official recommendation to implant defibrillators in these patients. The trial will investigate whether implanting a defibrillator in such cases will save lives. Patients will be selected to either receive an implantable defibrillator along with standard medical therapy or medical therapy alone.

Loyola is the only Illinois center participating in the trial, which is enrolling 1,800 patients from 100 centers in the United States, Europe and Israel.

To be eligible for the trial, a patient must:

  • Be age 65 or older
  • Have diabetes
  • Have experienced at least one heart attack
  • Have a left ventricular ejection fraction of 36 to 50 percent (meaning heart muscle pumping function is mildly or moderately reduced)

The device used in the trial is called a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD). The battery and electronic circuitry of the S-ICD is implanted on the left side of the chest under the arm pit. A conductor wire from the device (called a lead) is implanted over the heart, just under the skin.

The trial is called Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial with Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (MADIT S-ICD). Principal investigator for the Loyola site is Smit Vasaiwala, MD.

For more information, contact Loyola Medicine clinical research nurse Nancy Schoenecker, RN, at 708-216-2646 nschoenecker@luc.edu. Dr. Vasaiwala’s office number is 708-216-5609.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.