Cooper University Hospital has been selected to treat patients suffering with central sleep apnea with a recently approved implantable device to stimulate breathing.

It is one of 24 sites in the country and the only hospital in New Jersey currently treating patients with the remedē System, developed by Respicardia Inc.

“CSA is a serious breathing disorder that disrupts the normal breathing pattern during sleep and negatively affects quality of life and overall cardiovascular health. It often occurs in cardiac patients, especially those with severe congestive heart failure, and is associated with a significantly greater risk for morbidity and mortality,” said Dr. John Andriulli, a clinical cardiologist at Cooper and director of the Arrhythmia Device Program at the Cooper Heart Institute, in a statement.

A multidisciplinary team led by Andriulli and Dr. Ramya Lotano, a pulmonologist and sleep expert, performed the first remedē procedure in a patient with CSA.

The remedē System is a pacemaker-like, battery-powered device that is placed under the skin in the upper chest area during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure by a cardiologist. The device has two small leads (wires): one that senses breathing and another that stimulates the respiratory muscles to work when irregular breathing is detected.

“This new device is offering real hope to CSA patients who previously had very few options. It can reduce the effects of CSA by improving sleep and, most importantly, the patient’s quality of life. Improved quality of sleep often leads to improvement in symptoms of heart disease and other medical problems,” said Andriulli.