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Landmark clinical trial at 22 medical centers finds implanted heart pumps lengthen and improve lives of terminally ill heart failure patients

Implanted heart pumps can extend and improve the quality of life of terminally ill heart failure patients, a three-year landmark study of 129 patients at 22 major medical centers has found.

Supervised by investigators at Columbia University's International Center for Health Outcomes and Innovation Research, the multi-center and multi-sponsored REMATCH (Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Assistance for the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure) trial found that the use of an implanted heart pump with wearable controls more than doubled the likelihood that terminally ill heart failure patients would be alive at the end of one year. These patients were either too sick or too old to be candidates for a heart transplant.

The researchers found that patients with the implanted device had a 52.1 percent chance of surviving a year compared with a 24.7 percent survival rate for patients who took drugs and were medically monitored. The likelihood of survival for two years in patients with the device was 22.9 percent vs. 8.1 percent in the other group.

The findings of the approximately $25 million trial are being published in the November 12 early web site edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The results are being presented the same day at the 2001 American Heart Association scientific sessions in Anaheim, Calif.

"This trial transforms decades of hopeful research into the development of man-made machines to support the failing heart into a successful long-term treatment," says Dr. Eric Rose, chairman of surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the Morris and Rose Milstein/Johnson & Johnson Professor of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and principal investigator of the study.

Columbia University, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and Thoratec Corporation, the Pleasanton, Calif.-based manufacturer of the HeartMate VE device used in t
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Contact: Annie Bayne
as862@columbia.edu
Columbia University Medical Center
15-Nov-2001


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