Feasibility study of a temporary percutaneous left ventricular assist device in cardiac surgery

AA Pitsis, AN Visouli, D Burkhoff, P Dardas, N Mezilis, G Bougioukas and G Filippatos
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2007;84:1993-1999

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study is to evaluate a percutaneous left ventricular assist device (Tandem Heart pVAD; Cardiac Assist, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in the postcardiotomy setting. METHODS: Between August 2001 and August 2004, 11 high-risk male patients who had undergone heart failure surgery or surgical revascularization were supported by the TandemHeart postcardiotomy. The major indication for pVAD insertion was failure to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass. Three different techniques were employed for cannulation: the closed percutaneous technique, the “open transeptal” technique with percutaneous cannulas insertion, and direct central cannulation. RESULTS: The mean duration of support was 88 hours. The mean pump flow was 3.09 L/min. The weaning rate was 72.72%. Survival to discharge and at 1 and 4 years was 54.54%, 45.45%, and 36.36%, respectively. The main complication was pericardial bleeding, noted mainly in patients receiving antiplatelet treatment preoperatively. CONCLUSIONS: The TandemHeart appears to be safe for temporary support after cardiotomy. It is a versatile device allowing different techniques of insertion. Device application yielded high weaning rate and satisfactory early and long-term survival.

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