St Jude/Abbott leads with Medtronic Pacemaker??

I am due shortly to have my 10 year old St Jude dual chambered pacemaker replaced (being in ERI) and have had the bedside Merlin unit connected to our home landline doing the monitoring (cellular became at option at one point but required a monthly subscription and AT&T signals are poor in our area so I've kept with landline). This has worked well, except that we travel internationally to see friends/family for over two weeks at a time several times per year--during which there is no monitoring. St Jude/Abbott seems to be focusing on their leadless line whereas Medtronic has a dual chambered pacemaker with Bluetooth already available. With Bluetooth, I could have the monitoring done, uploaded to my cellphone and using a hotel Wifi or foreign cellular network (our Iphones work well in every country we've been in and all the hotels have WiFi) the monitoring data can be sent from the iPhone app to the monitoring agency. Given the change in diet, alcohol, sleep, exercise when away this would give me more peace of mind. The rub is that the FDA has approved the current crop of Abbott pacemakers and Abbott leads for MRIs, and has approved the current crop of Medtronic pacemakers and Medtronic leads for MRIs--each company submitted their equipment as a package to be approved. There is no FDA approval to mix and match---and my current leads are MRI approved St Jude/Abbott ones. I am told these leads will technically work with a Medtronic pacemaker bit mixing these leads with a Medtronic unit would, in theory, mean no MRI (or at least no radiologist willing to do an MRI).


Anyone have any experience with mix/match? With CT or PET/CT do I even care I couldn't have an MRI? (the current pacemaker I've had for 10 years was not MRI approved, so I've done without already). Abbott is not forthcoming and, as I wrote, analysts write their niche is going to be leadless pacemakers ongoing...seems Medtronic is the way to go as long as I have good working wire leads.  But really would like to have monitoring when away on long duration trips.




Remote Monitoring

by AgentX86 - 2023-04-02 23:03:32

How often does your pacemaker connect to the mothership?  If it's a nightly thing, this is a conundrum.  If it's as need be, only when you press the button, or three or four times a year, leave it behind.

I don't think I'd want to mix leads.  I had enough problem with a Medtronic only system.

Mixed leads

by islandgirl - 2023-04-03 00:10:42

I have an Abbott/St Jude CRT-D and 2 Medtronic leads and 1 Abbott lead.  Mixed leads seem to narrow my options on where to go for an MRI.  Ask your EP.  

Some new PM devices have apps for the phone that connect via bluetooth and you can send over WiFi.  My device even has an app for my phone, brand new for CRT-Ds.  

Ask your EP and see if you can't talk to a rep that visits the EP's office.  They can explain in detail any questions you have.  

Mixed leads

by scott02467 - 2023-04-03 07:17:48

With the Merlin monitoring for St Jude/Abbott, the besdide monitor calls home every night after checking in with the pacemaker. It also calls in once per week to see if there's any change in programming from the doctor. I can track these calls with the outgoing log from Verizon. I only initiate a manual polling when I feel something very odd happening..maybe 3-4 times per year.

St Jude/Abbott does not have a dual chambered PM that uses Bluetooth, only the single chambered one. They are coming out soon with a leadless/no wire dual chambered PM with Bluetooth, but that doesn't help me much.

Good idea..and I will push back on my EP to see if I can talk to a rep.

mixed leads

by Tracey_E - 2023-04-03 13:23:43

Mixed leads happen all the time. If all of the parts are mri safe, it shouldn't be harder to find a place that will do it than if the parts were all the same brand. There are places that will do mri's on newer pacers that are not deemed mri safe, find one of those.

I travel often, for as much as a month or sometimes even 2 months at a time. I'm stable so my ep doesn't care if I skip the occasional download. It's only crucial at the end of battery life. 

My leads are old enough no one will do an mri on me. It's occasionally inconvenient but so far has not been an issue. I've gotten by with CT, ultrasound, physical therapy. 

mixed leads

by danzelde - 2023-04-03 14:17:33

I have one old Boston Scientific lead and a new biventricular Medtronics pacemaker with a new Medtronic quad lead. I recentley had a cervical spine  MRI, the Medtrinic tech was there at the hospital. The issue of mixed leads never came's irrelevant.

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