Role of a Percutaneous Ventricular Assist Device in Decision Making for a Cardiac Transplant Program

Medical City Dallas Hospital, Dallas, Texas 75230, USA.
The Annals of thoracic surgery (Impact Factor: 3.65). 11/2009; 88(5):1462-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.07.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The role of a percutaneous ventricular assist device (VAD) for left heart support in the management of patients in cardiogenic shock is not well defined.
All patients who received LV support using the percutaneous TandemHeart (percTH) ventricular support device (Cardiac Assist, Pittsburgh, PA) were retrospectively reviewed. Indications for insertion included bridge to decision (BTD) or "salvage" and bridge to transplant (BTT).
Between April 2005 and December 2008, 22 percTH devices were successfully implanted in patients (13 men) with isolated left heart failure. Mean duration of support was 6.8 +/- 9.4 days (median, 4; maximum, 45 days). Of patients requiring percTH support for at least 3 days, mean pump flows were 3.77 +/- 1.10, 4.22 +/- 0.69, and 4.04 +/- 0.41 L/min on at days 1, 2, and 3. Mean serum aspartate aminotransferase levels were 455 +/- 994 mg/dL before percTH, 551 +/- 1046 mg/dL at day 1, and 231 +/- 225 mg/dL at day 3 after percTH. No mechanical device failure, device-related infections, or cerebrovascular accidents occurred. Ten of 11 BTT patients were successfully bridged. Support was withdrawn in 7 of 11 BTD patients. The percTHs were successfully explanted in 4 BTD patients: 1 as recovery, 1 direct to transplant, and 2 to VAD.
The percTH was reliable, with no mechanical device failures and minimal associated adverse events. We support the use of the percTH in the BTD mode, allowing time for a more complete evaluation of neurologic and end-organ status without the added expense and morbidity of a long-term VAD.

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