Outcomes of ventricular assist device support in young patients with small body surface area

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Objective: Although the ventricular assist device (VAD) has been a well-established therapy for larger adolescents and adult patients with advanced heart failure, current experience with the use of VAD for mechanical circulatory support in infants and young children with small body surface area is still limited. Methods: Between January 1999 and December 2009, 56 small children with body surface area<1.2m 2 were implanted with Berlin Heart EXCOR pediatric VAD in Germany Heart Institute Berlin. The etiology of end-stage myocardial failure included non-congenital (75%) and congenital heart disease (25%); the median age at implant was 1 year (12 days to 14 years), and the median support time was 55 days (1-432 days). Results: Of the 56 pediatric patients, 24 were bridged to heart transplantation, 12 were explanted following myocardial recovery, two continued to receive support, and the other 18 died on support. The accurate rate of survival on VAD support was 81.1%±5.8% and 51.4%±9.3% at 30 days and 1 year after EXCOR implantation. Patients receiving biventricular support had a trend towards higher post-implantation mortality as compared with children implanted with left ventricular assist device (LVAD) (P=0.09). Lower post-implantation survival was also observed in patients with congenital cardiac disease compared with children with a non-congenital etiology (P<0.001). Conclusions: Berlin Heart EXCOR pediatric VAD could provide satisfactory and safe circulatory support for small children with end-stage heart disease. © 2010 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.




Fan, Y., Weng, Y. G., Xiao, Y. B., Huebler, M., Franz, N., Potapov, E., & Hetzer, R. (2011). Outcomes of ventricular assist device support in young patients with small body surface area. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 39(5), 699–704. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.08.031

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