Ventricular assist devices can be used as bridge to heart recovery without need for heart transplant

ully treated while on VAD support.

After VAD removal, left ventricular function declined in two PPCM patients who required transplantation or repeat VAD support within one year. Left ventricular function remains normal in the 6 non-ischemic patients surviving transplant-free. Overall, 8 of 10 BTR patients (80 percent) are alive and free of transplant.

"With the availability of VADs, no patient should die from acute myocarditis or severe peripartum cardiomyopathy. This study demonstrates that ventricular support can facilitate dramatic recovery even in patients who are gravely ill," said Dennis McNamara, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and senior author of the study.

"Successful therapeutic strategies for end-stage congestive heart failure now include not only cardiac replacement with assist devices or transplantation, but the true opportunity for repair and recovery of myocardial function through the synergy between advanced medical therapy and ventricular assist devices," said Robert L. Kormos, M.D., director of Heart Transplantation, and director of the Artificial Heart Program at UPMC.



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