Robert Kroslowitz

Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (5)81.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The frequency and successful use of pediatric ventricular assist devices (VADs) as a bridge to cardiac transplantation have been steadily increasing since 2003, but the experience in patients with complex congenital heart disease has not been well described. Using a large prospectively collected dataset of children supported with the Berlin Heart EXCOR VAD, we have reviewed the experience in children with single ventricular anatomy or physiology (SV), and compared the results with those supported with biventricular circulation (BV) over the same time period. The EXCOR Investigational Device Exemption study database was retrospectively reviewed. VAD implants under the primary cohort and compassionate use cohort between May 2007 and December 2011 were included in this review. Twenty-six of 281 patients supported with a VAD were SV. The most common diagnosis was hypoplastic left heart syndrome (15 of 26). Nine patients were supported after neonatal palliative surgery (Blalock-Taussig shunt or Sano), 12 after a superior cavopulmonary connection (SCPC), and 5 after total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC). Two patients received biventricular assist devices, 1 after stage I surgery and 1 after stage II. SV patients were supported for a median time of 10.5 days (range, 1-363 days) versus 39 days (range, 0-435 days) for BV (P = .01). The ability to be bridged to transplant or recovery in SV patients is lower than for BV patients (11 of 26 [42.3%] vs 185 of 255 [72.5%]; P = .001). Three of 5 patients with TCPC were successfully bridged to transplant and were supported with 1 VAD. Seven of 12 patients with SCPC were bridged to transplant, and only 1 of 9 patients supported after a stage I procedure survived. The EXCOR Pediatric VAD can provide a bridge to transplant for children with SV anatomy or physiology, albeit less successfully than in children with BV. In this small series, results are better in patients with SCPC and TCPC. VAD support for patients with shunted sources of pulmonary blood flow should be applied with caution.
    The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 11/2013; · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest the Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) is superior to ECMO for bridge-to-heart transplant. Published data are limited to one in four children who received the device as part of the US clinical trial. We analyzed outcomes for all US children who received the EXCOR to characterize device outcomes in an unselected cohort and identify risk factors for mortality to facilitate patient selection. METHODS AND RESULTS: Multi-center prospective cohort study involving all children implanted with the Berlin Heart EXCOR® Pediatric VAD at 47 centers from 5/2007-12/2010. Multiphase non-proportional hazards modeling was used to identify risk factors for early (<2 months) and late mortality. Of 204 children supported with the EXCOR, the median duration of support was 40 days (range 1, 435). Survival at 12 months was 75% including 64% who reached transplant, 6% who recovered, and 5% who were alive on the device. Multivariable analysis identified lower weight, BIVAD support, and elevated bilirubin as risk factors for early mortality, and bilirubin extremes and renal dysfunction as risk factors for late mortality. Neurological dysfunction occurred in 29% and was the leading cause of death. CONCLUSIONS: Use of the Berlin Heart EXCOR® has risen dramatically over the past decade emerging as a new treatment standard in the US for pediatric bridge-to-transplant. Three-quarters of children survived to transplant or recovery; an important fraction experienced neurological dysfunction. Smaller patient size, renal dysfunction, hepatic dysfunction, and BIVAD use were associated with mortality whereas ECMO pre-implant and CHD were not.
    Circulation 03/2013; · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Options for mechanical circulatory support as a bridge to heart transplantation in children with severe heart failure are limited. We conducted a prospective, single-group trial of a ventricular assist device designed specifically for children as a bridge to heart transplantation. Patients 16 years of age or younger were divided into two cohorts according to body-surface area (cohort 1, <0.7 m(2); cohort 2, 0.7 to <1.5 m(2)), with 24 patients in each group. Survival in the two cohorts receiving mechanical support (with data censored at the time of transplantation or weaning from the device owing to recovery) was compared with survival in two propensity-score-matched historical control groups (one for each cohort) undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). For participants in cohort 1, the median survival time had not been reached at 174 days, whereas in the matched ECMO group, the median survival was 13 days (P<0.001 by the log-rank test). For participants in cohort 2 and the matched ECMO group, the median survival was 144 days and 10 days, respectively (P<0.001 by the log-rank test). Serious adverse events in cohort 1 and cohort 2 included major bleeding (in 42% and 50% of patients, respectively), infection (in 63% and 50%), and stroke (in 29% and 29%). Our trial showed that survival rates were significantly higher with the ventricular assist device than with ECMO. Serious adverse events, including infection, stroke, and bleeding, occurred in a majority of study participants. (Funded by Berlin Heart and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Orphan Product Development; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00583661.).
    New England Journal of Medicine 08/2012; 367(6):532-41. · 54.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Currently, there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved devices available that can provide long-term mechanical circulatory support to smaller children with severe heart failure as a bridge to heart transplant (HT). In recent years, the Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) has emerged as a potential treatment option. Systematic data on the safety and efficacy of the EXCOR are limited. The Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study is designed to evaluate the safety and probable benefit of the EXCOR to support regulatory review of the device under the Humanitarian Device Exemption regulation. The study design and rationale are reviewed in light of the well-described challenges inherent in small population studies. The Berlin Heart EXCOR IDE clinical study is a prospective, multicenter, single-arm, clinical cohort study. Children aged 0 to 16 years with severe heart failure (Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support profile 1 or 2) due to 2-ventricle heart disease and actively listed for HT comprise the primary study cohort. The control population is a propensity-matched retrospective cohort of children supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the only bridge device available to smaller children before the EXCOR. The primary efficacy end point is survival to heart transplantation or recovery. The primary safety end point is the incidence of serious adverse events as defined by pediatric Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support criteria. The study will enroll a total of 48 subjects in 2 cohorts based on body surface area (cohort 1 <0.7 m(2), cohort 2 0.7-1.5 m(2)) and is powered to show safety superiority to a prespecified performance goal of 0.25 serious adverse events per day of support. Children ineligible for the primary cohort will still have access to the device in a third compassionate-use cohort where adverse event data will be collected for additional safety characterization of the device. The Berlin Heart IDE clinical study will be the first bridge-to-HT VAD study designed exclusively for children. It is anticipated that the study will provide important information on the safety and efficacy of the Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric in children while providing valuable lessons into the design and conduct of future VAD studies in children.
    American heart journal 09/2011; 162(3):425-35.e6. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Beginning in 2000 and accelerating in 2004, the Berlin Heart EXCOR (Berlin Heart Inc Woodlands, TX) became the first pediatric-specific ventricular assist device (VAD) applied throughout North America for children of all sizes. This retrospective study analyzed the initial Berlin Heart EXCOR pediatric experience as a bridge to transplantation. Between June 2000 and May 2007, 97 EXCOR VADs were implanted in North America at 29 different institutions. The analysis is limited to 73 patients (75%) from 17 institutions, for which retrospective data were available. Median age and weight at VAD implant were 2.1 years (range, 12 days-17.8 years) and 11 kg (range, 3-87.6 kg), respectively. The primary diagnoses were dilated cardiomyopathy in 42 (58%), congenital heart disease in 19 (26%), myocarditis in 7 (10%), and other cardiomyopathies in 5 (7%). Pre-implant clinical condition was critical cardiogenic shock in 38 (52%), progressive decline in 33 (45%), or other in 2 (3%). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was used as a bridge to EXCOR in 22 patients (30%). Device selection was left VAD (LVAD) in 42 (57%) and biventricular assist devices (BiVAD) in 31 (43%). The EXCOR bridged 51 patients (70%) to transplant and 5 (7%) to recovery. Mortality on the EXCOR was 23% (n = 17) overall, including 35% (11 of 31) in BiVAD vs 14% (6 of 42) in LVAD patients (p = 0.003). Multivariate analysis showed younger age and BiVAD support were significant risk factors for death while on the EXCOR. This limited but large preliminary North American experience with the Berlin Heart EXCOR VAD as a bridge to cardiac transplantation for children of all ages and sizes points to the feasibility of this approach. The prospective investigational device evaluation trial presently underway will further characterize the safety and efficacy of the EXCOR as a bridge to pediatric cardiac transplantation.
    The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation 01/2011; 30(1):1-8. · 3.54 Impact Factor