University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago First Hospital to Install Innovative Shape-HF Cardiopulmonary Testing System


May 7, 2009
Shape-HF objectively measures cardiopulmonary gas exchange easily and quickly without undue strain on the patient.

May 7, 2009 - The University of Illinois Medical Center, the primary teaching facility for the UIC College of Medicine, is the first such institution to install and the innovative Shape-HF Cardiopulmonary Testing System.

Developed by Shape Medical Systems Inc., this noninvasive medical device assesses heart-lung interaction and ventilation in patients with chronic heart failure and other cardiopulmonary disease. While gas exchange testing devices have been used for several years to measure cardiopulmonary response to exercise, Shape-HF is reportedly the first device specifically designed for cardiology. The maker said the Shape-HF is FDA-approved, easy to use, easy on the patient, and provides clinically relevant data that is easy to understand, reproducible and immediately useful to a cardiologist.

Upon being introduced to the Shape-HF System, Abraham Kocheril, M.D., professor of medicine and director of clinical electrophysiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, saw immediate applications for the device. "It broadens the pool of heart failure patients we are able to accurately test because it is less cumbersome than existing cardiopulmonary testing devices and it is patient friendly for those with heart failure," Dr. Kocheril said.

Shape-HF uses low-intensity, sub-maximal or steady state testing protocols to allow testing of even high-risk patients with little or no discomfort.

The company said measuring patient gas exchange is the best method of assessing patient functional capacity, monitoring their response to therapy and predicting outcome. Shape-HF is designed to quantify the severity of dyspnea on exertion and fatigue and evaluate the interaction between the heart, lungs, and other organ systems. This makes it possible for the physician to evaluate therapy options for the individual patient and track patient progress. In addition, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has become a mainstay in treating patients with severe heart failure when alternative treatment options have been exhausted.

"The CRT response rate in heart failure patients is about 70 percent,” said Dr. Koucheril. “The Shape-HF System is likely to help us get the remaining 30 percent feeling better – those we call nonresponders – because it lets us objectively measure response to CRT and optimize timing between the atrium and the two ventricles of the heart in real time while the patient is exercising."

The company says this is the first device that objectively measures cardiopulmonary gas exchange easily and quickly without undue strain on the patient and in the office setting. Shape-HF provides real-time physiological assessment to enable CRT optimization during exercise and is cost-effective and easy to use.

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