Indexed on: 28 Apr '99Published on: 28 Apr '99Published in: The Thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon
Mechanical circulatory support has become an established procedure for bridging patients to cardiac transplantation. One of the devices available is the Thoratec VAD, which can be applied for univentricular or biventricular support. Between March 1992 and June 1997, 74 patients were bridged with Thoratec VAD to cardiac transplantation. In 67 patients the system was applied exclusively (26 LVAD, 38 BVAD, 3 TAH), in 7 patients subsequently or in combination with another MCS device. 71.6% with exclusive Thoratec application underwent transplantation with a post-transplant survival rate of 90%, 4 patients are still waiting. Transplant rate in LVAD and BVAD patients was 84% and 71.4%, respectively, posttransplant survival 95.2% and 88%, respectively. 28.6% with a combined application of Thoratec and another MCS device survived to be discharged from hospital. Main complications were bleeding, liver failure, multiple organ failure, and infections. In terms of reliability and efficacy the Thoratec VAD is the system of choice for mid-term application in patients bridged to cardiac transplantation.