Single-centre experience with the Thoratec paracorporeal ventricular assist device for patients with primary cardiac failure.

Research paper by Matthias M Kirsch, Emmanuelle E Vermes, Thibaud T Damy, Kuniki K Nakashima, Mélanie M Sénéchal, Bernadette B Boval, Ludovic L Drouet, Daniel D Loisance

Indexed on: 12 Aug '09Published on: 12 Aug '09Published in: Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases


Temporary mechanical circulatory support may be indicated in some patients with cardiac failure refractory to conventional therapy, as a bridge to myocardial recovery or transplantation.To evaluate outcomes in cardiogenic shock patients managed by the primary use of a paracorporeal ventricular assist device (p-VAD).We did a retrospective analysis of demographics, clinical characteristics and survival of patients assisted with a Thoratec p-VAD.p-VADs were used in 84 patients with cardiogenic shock secondary to acute myocardial infarction (35%), idiopathic (31%) or ischaemic (12%) cardiomyopathy, myocarditis or other causes (23%). Before implantation, 23% had cardiac arrest, 38% were on a ventilator and 31% were on an intra-aortic balloon pump. Cardiac index was 1.6+/-0.5 L/min/m(2) and total bilirubin levels were 39+/-59 micromol/L. During support, 29 patients (35%) died in the intensive care unit and seven (10%) died after leaving. Forty-seven patients (56%) were weaned or transplanted, with one still under support. Despite significantly more advanced preoperative end-organ dysfunction, survival rates were similar in patients with biventricular devices (74%) and those undergoing isolated left ventricular support (24%) (63% versus 45%, respectively; p=0.2). Actuarial survival estimates after transplantation were 78.7+/-6.3%, 73.4+/-6.9% and 62.6+/-8.3% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively.Our experience validates the use of p-VAD as a primary device to support patients with cardiogenic shock. In contrast to short-term devices, p-VADs provide immediate ventricular unloading and pulsatile perfusion in a single procedure. Biventricular support should be used liberally in patients with end-organ dysfunction.

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