Boca Regional Hospital implements long-term monitoring system to help prevent future strokes

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Staff report

People who have had a stroke can reduce the risk of having another one thanks to a new program at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the first hospital in Palm Beach County to launch a long-term monitoring program for cryptogenic stroke patients to help reduce their risk of a secondary stroke.

The multidisciplinary stroke team at the Marcus Neuroscience Institute offers the option to insert a small implantable cardiac monitor to continuously monitor heart activity to capture abnormal heartbeats and rhythms, which often go undetected and can increase stroke risk significantly. This data is relayed quickly to specialty cardiac physicians so that they can promptly initiate treatment when required.

The Cryptogenic Stroke Pathway program utilizes the Reveal LINQ system that includes a cardiac monitor and bedside transmitter to relay critical information to electrophysiologists at the hospital.

The monitor analyzes heart data for any signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), irregular or rapid heartbeats.

The device is implanted using a minimally invasive procedure to avoid infection, reduce scarring and avoid any other medical complications.

The system allows patients to continue their everyday activities without any interference for up to three years.

“Patients that have suffered cryptogenic stroke often have undiagnosed atrial fibrillation or other cardiac complications months after being discharged from a hospital. Traditional programs typically end weeks or even days after the initial stroke,” said Brian Snelling, M.D., medical director of the Marilyn & Stanley Barry Center for Cerebrovascular Disease & Stroke at MNI. “The Reveal LINQ system is enabling us to detect heart disturbances on a long-term basis to facilitate proactive treatment when needed.”

One of the first patients in the Cryptogenic Stroke Pathway program credits his life to the Reveal LINQ system. The patient, Mohammed Elfadel, came to MNI in July 2018 with a life-threatening large vessel occlusion stroke without a known cause. He received mechanical thrombectomy and was implanted with the Reveal LINQ cardiac monitor prior to discharge. Nearly one year later, the MNI electrophysiologist team detected Afib in Mohammed which required him to immediately switch medications.

MNI has maintained a 100 percent stroke pathway percentage since the implementation of the Reveal LINQ.

Many hospitals have protocol for patients who have experienced an ischemic stroke, only a select few implemented a long-term monitoring program designed specifically to cryptogenic stroke.