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Medtronic Introduces New Tachyarrhythmia Lead Designed to Help Extend Life of Implanted Defibrillators

MINNEAPOLIS, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT), today announced clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and commercial introduction of the Medtronic Sprint(TM) Model 6942 tachyarrhythmia lead.

Positioned in the heart and flexing each time the heart beats, leads are crucial to effective device therapy for cardiac arrhythmias. A lead transmits signals to the implanted defibrillator about the activity of the heart's electrical conduction system and also delivers therapeutic impulses that return the heart to normal rhythm.

The new lead's many technological advances improve electrical performance of implanted defibrillators serving patients whose hearts tend to beat too fast. This allows patients whose defibrillators also provide concurrent bradycardia pacing for slow heart rates to receive that therapy at lower voltages -- thus extending the battery life of their devices by as much as 48 percent.

The Medtronic Sprint Model 6942 joins the Sprint Model 6932, released last August, in featuring high-efficiency conductor materials designed to increase the efficiency of electrical transmission while reducing lead diameter. Sprint leads also employ Medtronic's tined, steroid-eluting electrode technology that has been proven to increase electrical efficiency when delivering impulses in the pacing range. The combination of features allows more of each electrical impulse to reach the inner heart wall, thus delivering effective therapy at lower electrical intensity.

In clinical evaluation of the Sprint Model 6942 electrical output needed for defibrillation ranged as low as 3 joules in some patients, with a mean of 8.4 joules. The new lead is just 7.8 French in body diameter (about 3/32nds of an inch), making it the thinnest lead commercially available in the United States with two defibrillation coils. Thinness facilitates easy maneuverability through the vascular system during implant.

The 6942 lead's tripolar design positions the pacing tip electrode and two high-energy coils for accurate delivery of defibrillation impulses to both the right ventricle (lower chamber) of the heart and to the superior vena cava above the right atrium (upper chamber).

Jon Tremmel, president of the Medtronic Tachyarrhythmia Business, said, "The introduction of the Model 6942 lead increases the options available to physicians as they optimize the performance of any implanted defibrillator system."

The third member of the Sprint family, the Model 6943 lead, is currently in clinical evaluation. This lead features an extendable, retractable positive fixation mechanism and will carry many of the same features as its Sprint predecessors.

Medtronic, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, is the world's leading medical technology company specializing in implantable and interventional therapies. Its Internet address is http://www.medtronic.com.

SOURCE Medtronic, Inc.
 -0- 7/21/97


/CONTACT: Christopher O'Connell, 612-514-4971, Dale Beumer, 612-514-3038, Investor Relations; Dick Reid, Public Relations, 612-514-3052, all of Medtronic/

(MDT)

CO: Medtronic, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: MTC SU: PDT

CC-KG -- MNM021 -- 8487 07/21/97 12:12 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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