Mechanical circulatory support with the ABIOMED BVS 5000: the Toronto General Hospital experience

Vidyadhar Lad, Abdelsalam Elhenawy, Steve Harwood, Jane Maciver, Mitesh Vallabh Badiwala, Mark Vallelonga, Terrence M Yau, Robert J Cusimano, Diego H Delgado, Heather J Ross, Vivek Rao
Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2010, 26 (9): 467-70

BACKGROUND: Acute hemodynamic collapse resulting in cardiogenic shock and impending end-organ failure is usually associated with certain death. The introduction of short-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices offers potential therapy to these critically ill patients. The BVS 5000 device (ABIOMED Inc, USA) is widely used in the United States, but rarely in Canada, where device reimbursement remains a barrier.

OBJECTIVE: To present the Toronto General Hospital's (Toronto, Ontario) initial five-year experience with this device to highlight the indications for use, common complications and overall success rates.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The institutional MCS database from 2001 to 2006 was reviewed, and 18 patients who received 30 devices in a variety of configurations were identified. The most common support configuration consisted of biventricular support (n=12), followed by isolated left ventricular support (n=4) and isolated right ventricular support in two recipients of an implantable long-term left ventricular assist device. Overall survival to device explant or transplant was 55% (n=10), of which five (50%) were successfully discharged from the hospital. The overall survival from device implant to hospital discharge was 28% (five of 18). The most common cause of death was multisystem organ failure.

CONCLUSIONS: MCS with the ABIOMED BVS 5000 can successfully resuscitate critically ill patients; however, earlier institution of this device would avoid irreversible end-organ injury, and lead to higher rates of device explant and hospital discharge. Short-term MCS devices should be available in all cardiac surgical centres in Canada to permit stabilization and evaluation of the acutely ill cardiac patient and subsequent management in a heart transplant facility.

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