EVALUATION STUDIES
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Pediatric assist with the Medos and Excor systems in small children.

Pediatric long-term ventricular support with paracorporeal assist devices is performed in only a few institutions. We report on our experience with two pediatric paracorporeal devices, which have been implanted in neonates, infants, and small children. Seven children with ages ranging from 2 weeks to 6 years and a body weight of 3 to 19 kg were provided with either a Medos or a BerlinHeart System. The underlying heart diseases included dilative cardiomyopathy (n = 3), endocardial fibroelastosis (n = 2), Ebstein anomaly, and status post redo aortic valve replacement (n = 1). All children were in New York Heart Association class IV and were inotrope dependent. Three children were provided with a Medos system and 4 children with a BerlinHeart Excor device. In 6 cases, left ventricular support, and in 1 case, right ventricular support was performed. All patients were stabilized with univentricular mechanical support. The perioperative course was uneventful, and end-organ function was well recovered. Reexploration for bleeding and evacuation of mediastinal blood clots was necessary in all three neonates but not in any of the older infants. Severe thromboembolic events were only noticed in the neonates. Successful bridge to transplantation was performed in 6 of the 7 patients (87.5%). Our late results have been quite encouraging, as they readily prove that pediatric long-term mechanical support is possible with a high quality of life and an acceptable low complication rate.

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