Left ventricular assist devices as long-term mechanical circulatory support are increasingly utilized as an option for medically refractory advanced heart failure. Rapid advances in this field, from pulsatile paracorporeal flow pumps to now more advanced intracorporeal continuous flow devices, have led to more wide spread use of device therapy. Several trials have now confirmed the survival benefits of ventricular assist devices, not only as a method for bridging patients waiting on the transplant list, but also as an evolving paradigm of destination therapy. Significant improvements in quality of life and functional status have been reported in patients receiving these devices. Survival outcomes with this therapy continue to improve, and long term durability of newer generation devices remains yet to be discerned. Comparative data to heart transplantation remains scarce. This paper will focus on the historical development of ventricular assist device therapy for advanced heart failure, review major trials of destination therapy, and look at comparative literature in the modern era to cardiac transplantation.
Valika, A. A., & Cotts, W. (2012). A Review of Long-Term Mechanical Circulatory Support as Destination Therapy: Evolving Paradigms for Treatment of Advanced Heart Failure . ISRN Transplantation, 2013, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.5402/2013/714373