The rationale for the use of a biventricular assist device (BiVAD) for morbid congestive heart failure (MCHF) has been questioned because of historically unacceptable rates of postimplant and post-transplant mortality as well as perceived barriers to their outpatient management.All patients who received a Thoratec BiVAD from January 1990 to December 2003 at the University of Pittsburgh were studied retrospectively. There were a total of 73 patients (32% ischemic, 21% idiopathic, and 47% other) who had a BiVAD implanted. Before implantation, 100% were on > or =1 inotropic agent, and 77% had an intra-aortic balloon pump. Overall survival was 69%; 42 patients (84%) received cardiac transplantation, 5 patients (10%) were weaned, and 3 (6%) remained supported on BiVAD. If the 14 patients with postcardiotomy failure and acute myocardial infarction with shock are excluded, the overall survival improves to 75%. Five-year actuarial survival after heart transplantation was 58%. Of the 29 patients implanted before 2000, the 4-month actuarial freedom from driveline infections, bloodstream infections, and neurological events was 10%, 54%, and 48%, respectively, whereas the rates of these events for the 44 patients implanted after 2000 improved to 70%, 79%, and 80%, respectively. Since 2000, 21 (48%) patients were discharged from the hospital, of whom 38% went to an outpatient residence, 33% to a skilled nursing facility, and 29% to home. Once discharged, > or =1 readmission occurred in 45% and > or =2 readmissions in 48%.BiVAD support for MCHF has an acceptable overall mortality and survival to transplantation. Morbidity has been significantly reduced in the past 4 years, and management as an outpatient is achievable.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.104.524934
View details for Web of Science ID 000231741600011
View details for PubMedID 16159867