Heart patients in northern Tasmania are among the first in Australia to benefit from a groundbreaking new pacemaker therapy that delivers a more physiologic, or ‘natural’, current in the heart.

His Bundled Pacing (HBP) therapy uses standard pacemaker technology, however, stimulation is directed to a different part of the heart.

Dr Alex Jacobsen and the team at Charles Clinic Heart Care in Launceston performed the first procedure in Tasmania on June 22.

Dr Jacobsen said the His Bundle was a part of the heart that contained specialised cardiac nerve fibres, which carried the electric impulse for the coordinated contraction of the heart.

“Historically, pacing therapy would bypass this area in an effort to ensure capture of the signals to the tissue,” Dr Jacobsen said.

“The unique advantages of HBP are that it results in a well synchronized cardiac contraction, which is in contrast to an unsynchronized contraction provided by right ventricular pacing only.

“In the majority of cases, HBP can impact unsynchronized cardiac electrical activation.”

Dr Jacobsen said there were other techniques that provided similar results, such as cardiac resynchoronisation therapy, but in the past these had required an extra pacing lead in the heart which could cause complications.

“The advantage of HBP is that it can achieve a similar result using physiological mechanisms with one less lead,” he said.

“There is still more research to be done, but this may well become the new standard of pacing and it’s very exciting to be able to provide Tasmanians with this innovative new technology.”

The Launceston-based Charles Clinic, provides outreach heart care services across northern Tasmania from Strahan to St Helens, including specialist services provided by visiting doctors from the mainland who support the Clinic’s outreach program.
Dr Alex Jacobsen