Transplant Center

Continuous-flow LVAD as Permanent Therapy for Advanced Heart Failure Patients

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine (Slaughter, M.S., et al. (2009). Advanced Heart Failure Treated with Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device. N Engl J Med, 2009;361. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa0909938) demonstrates the superiority of continuous-flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) as compared to pulsatile-flow LVADs for destination therapy for patients with advanced, medically refractory heart failure who are not eligible for heart transplant.

The study demonstrated that the smaller, more durable continuous-flow pumps offer a marked increase in survival probability—double that of pulsatile-flow pumps and quadruple that of inotropic support alone. There was also a significant reduction in the frequency of repeat hospitalization, an improved quality of life and increased functional capacity for patients.

We anticipate FDA approval to use continuous-flow LVADs for destination therapy very soon. Thoratec announces FDA approval of HeartMate II LVAS for Destination Therapy on January 20, 2010.

The University of Utah Health Care Cardiac Mechanical Support Program is available to work with you in caring for your patients with advance heart failure. We are a Joint Commission certified destination therapy center and have been implanting LVADs for destination therapy since 2002. Our cardiothoracic surgeons have an excellent track record with continuous-flow LVADs including, the HeartMate II LVAD, as demonstrated in the NEJM article.

We are committed to working collaboratively with you and your patients on a treatment plan. We can assist you in determining the optimal timing for VAD therapy. Our interdisciplinary team thoroughly evaluates a patient prior to VAD therapy, and our goal is to provide optimal care that will allow your patient to return home and live a functional and fulfilling life.