New Medtronic Pacemaker and Defibrillators Treat Heart Rhythm Disorders While Promoting Natural Heart Function


EnRhythm(TM) pacemaker and EnTrust(TM) defibrillators now available in Europe

Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) today announced the European introductions of the Medtronic EnRhythm(TM) pacemaker (dual-chamber) and the Medtronic EnTrust(TM) implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) (single- and dual-chamber versions). The company received CE Mark for these devices on Feb. 4, 2005.

These advanced products incorporate several unique features that provide important patient benefits, including an innovative pacing mode called MVP(TM) or Managed Ventricular Pacing available in the dual-chamber EnRhythm and EnTrust devices. The EnRhythm device is the first-ever pacemaker to include MVP, which Medtronic first introduced in its Intrinsic(TM) ICD in 2004.

MVP promotes natural heart activity by significantly reducing unnecessary pacing in the heart's lower right chamber (ventricle) and automatically switching to pace the upper right chamber (atrium) when normal heart conduction is present. With the MVP mode, automatic switching between dual-chamber pacing and single-chamber atrial pacing can reduce the amount of ventricular pacing to less than 5 percent, compared to 50 percent or more with typical dual-chamber pacing. This may be particularly advantageous since previous studies show that unnecessary pacing in the right ventricle can increase the risk for heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

A key feature of the EnTrust devices is the Medtronic-exclusive ATP During Charging, an advancement of anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP). ATP uses pacing pulses to painlessly terminate fast, dangerous heart rhythms originating in the ventricle. ATP During Charging enables the use of ATP while the EnTrust capacitor charges to prepare for the possible delivery of a high-energy shock. Thus, while the device delivers a painless ATP therapy, it is also ready to deliver a shock if needed with no delay. Recent clinical studies have shown that 77 percent of potentially lethal heart rhythms can be successfully terminated without a shock with Medtronic's exclusive heart rhythm detection capabilities and ATP therapy.

The EnRhythm pacemaker and EnTrust ICDs also offer Reactive ATP, a feature enabling the devices to continually search for opportunities to restore a patient's normal sinus rhythm during long, fast heart rhythm episodes in the atrium. Additionally, enhanced diagnostics in these devices provide comprehensive information to assist physicians in the diagnosis of additional types of heart rhythm problems, especially in the atrium.

"I am very excited about the advancements in these new devices and Medtronic's distinct focus on promoting the heart's natural rhythm and limiting unnecessary therapies," said Prof. Wolfgang Schols, University of Heidelberg, Germany. "The MVP pacing mode allows us to significantly reduce unnecessary right ventricular pacing. In addition, the refinements made to the anti-tachycardia pacing function in EnTrust should mean fewer shocks and greater patient comfort, without sacrificing the needed protection that only an ICD provides."

"EnRhythm and EnTrust are part of Medtronic's Physiologic Pacing Program, a comprehensive initiative focused on providing tailored solutions to promote or mimic a patient's normal cardiac function," said Steve Mahle, president of Medtronic Cardiac Rhythm Management. "This approach represents an important new direction in medical therapy where implanted mini computers provide highly beneficial therapy, but only when and where necessary. We think there is a potential for this philosophy to both improve patient care and - longer term - prevent disease progression."

The EnRhythm pacemaker is an ideal pacemaker for patients who have an abnormally slow or weak heart rhythm (bradycardia) due to sinus node dysfunction or intermittent AV block. The EnTrust ICD is indicated for patients who are at risk of developing abnormally fast and potentially life-threatening heartbeats (tachycardia) that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. The dual-chamber EnTrust device also is indicated to treat atrial tachyarrhythmias.

More than 8 million people worldwide have bradycardia, and approximately 3 million people have tachycardia. Many abnormally rapid heartbeats can deteriorate into a life-threatening condition called ventricular fibrillation, the major cause of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, taking the lives of up to 450,000 people each year. ICDs have been proven to be 98 percent effective in treating the rapid rhythms that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Medtronic, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, is the world's leading medical technology company, providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic disease. Its Internet address is www.medtronic.com.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2004. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.


Medtronic, Inc.

Public Relations:

Yvan Deurbroeck, 41-21-802-7574


Investor Relations:

Chris King, 763-505-2694