Barostim™ Baroflex Activation Therapy | MedStar Health

New heart failure treatment reduces symptoms of systolic heart failure

Barostim™ Baroflex Activation Therapy is designed to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system (which controls vital body functions such as breathing, digestion and heart rate) and reduces symptoms of systolic heart failure thereby improving the functional level and quality of life of patients.

Electrical pulses from a small pacemaker like device are directed to baroreceptors located in the wall of the carotid artery. When activated, signals are sent from the baroreceptors through the neural pathways to the brain which responds by causing the arteries to relax and reduce cardiac exertion, the heart to slow down, and signaling the kidneys to reduce fluid in the body, thus lowering blood pressure and stress on the heart.

Barostim™ is a low maintenance therapy. It can be turned on and off as needed, is adjustable to fit the needs of each patient, and functions automatically without patient involvement.

What to expect

There are no special preparations for the ABI test. You should wear loose-fitting clothing, so your arm and leg are easily accessible. You will rest briefly before the test, and you normally will lie on your back on an examination table.


A health professional will measure your blood pressure in both arms and both ankles. The measurements are taken by using an inflatable cuff and a hand-held ultrasound device that contacts the skin. The device produces images and allows the pulse in the ankle arteries to be heard once the cuff is deflated.

A doctor uses a monitor to check the blood pressure in a patient's ankle during a vascular test.



Pericarditis occurs when the tissue surrounding your heart becomes swollen or inflamed.

Pericardial effusion

Pericardial effusion occurs when this tissue is damaged, causing a buildup of extra fluid that puts pressure on the heart.

Pericardial tamponade

The pericardium is a thin membrane that surrounds your heart. Pericardial tamponade is a condition when blood or fluid builds up in this membrane, putting pressure on your heart and prevent it from expanding fully.

Constrictive pericarditis

A condition where the fluid in the pericardial becomes thick or stiff and interferes with the normal diastolic filling of the heart which can lead to severe complications.


Myopericarditis is a condition where both the pericardium and the heart muscle becomes enflamed.


A type of pericarditis with evidence of regional wall motion abnormalities with reduced ventricular function.


Myocarditis causes inflammation of the heart muscle and can damage the heart’s electrical system.


Angiogram (Angiography)

An angiogram is a special X-ray taken as a special dye is injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to detect blockages or aneurysms in blood vessels.

Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.


An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Stress tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and chemically induced stress tests.

Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.