Management of acute cardiac failure with mechanical assist: experience with the ABIOMED BVS 5000

L E Samuels, E C Holmes, M P Thomas, J C Entwistle, R J Morris, J Narula, A S Wechsler
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2001, 71 (3 Suppl): S67-72; discussion S82-5

BACKGROUND: Mechanical circulatory assist industries have developed ventricular assist devices (VAD) for short-, intermediate-, and long-term use. The purpose of this report is to describe the progress made with the ABIOMED Biventricular System (BVS) 5000 (ABIOMED, Inc, Danvers, MA) short-term VAD.

METHODS: From June 1994 through August 2000, all cardiogenic shock patients who required short-term mechanical assist were supported with the ABIOMED BVS 5000. Insertion criteria included any condition that may potentially result in cardiac recovery. A formal algorithm for timing of insertion was established to standardize implantation criteria.

RESULTS: A total of 45 patients were supported at Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. There were 26 male and 19 female patients, with a mean age of 57.9 years (range 33 to 80 years). Devices were inserted for postcardiotomy shock in 36 patients (80%) and precardiotomy shock in 9 patients (20%). The average duration of support was 8.3 days (range 1 to 31 days). Overall, there were 22 (49%) patients weaned from support and 14 (31%) discharged from the hospital. For patients in whom the device was implanted in accordance with an established protocol (group A), the wean and discharge rates were 60% and 43%, respectively. The most common morbidities included bleeding and adverse neurologic events.

CONCLUSIONS: The ABIOMED BVS 5000 VAD continues to be a valuable form of short-term mechanical assist for acute cardiogenic shock. The formation of a uniform VAD insertion algorithm has helped to standardize protocols in management.

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