Temporary mechanical circulatory support for refractory heart failure: the German Heart Center Berlin experience.

Research paper by Gaik G Nersesian, Felix F Hennig, Marcus M Müller, Johanna J Mulzer, Dmytro D Tsyganenko, Christoph C Starck, Tom T Gromann, Volkmar V Falk, Evgenij E Potapov, Felix F Schoenrath

Indexed on: 02 Apr '19Published on: 12 Mar '19Published in: Annals of cardiothoracic surgery


Temporary mechanical circulatory support (MCS) offers a valuable option for treatment of refractory heart failure. We present our experience with selected MCS devices in cardiogenic shock of different etiologies. We retrospectively studied patients who were treated in our institution between 01/2016 and 07/2018. Patients receiving only veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) support were excluded. Left ventricular support patients received Impella; right ventricular support was conducted using Levitronix CentriMag. Thirty-seven patients received an Impella left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Etiology was: acute on chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICMP; n=12), acute myocardial infarction (AMI; n=11), dilated cardiomyopathy (DCMP; n=7) and toxic cardiomyopathy (TCMP; n=2). Two patients presented with postcardiotomy shock and acute myocarditis, respectively. In one case, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy was diagnosed. Impella was used solely in 28 patients (Impella group) with an in-hospital survival of 37%. In nine patients, Impella was used in combination with extracorporeal life support (ECLS) implantation (ECMELLA group)-in-hospital survival was 33%. In the Impella group six patients recovered, six received a long-term VAD and 16 died on device. In the ECMELLA group one patient recovered, three received a long-term VAD and five died. The majority of CentriMag implantations as a right ventricular assist device (RVAD) were necessary after LVAD implantation (n=52); of these patients, 14 recovered, eight received long-term VAD and 30 died. The remaining 17 patients were supported by RVAD due to AMI (n=7); postcardiotomy (n=7); right heart failure after heart transplantation (n=2) and ICMP (n=1). Six of these patients recovered, two required long-term VAD and nine died. Survival after MCS implantation for left as well as right heart failure in cardiogenic shock remains low, but is superior to that of patients without mechanical support. Short-term MCS remains an option of choice if right, left or biventricular support is needed.

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