Mechanical circulatory support of the critically ill child awaiting heart transplantation

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14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The majority of children awaiting heart transplantation require inotropic support, mechanical ventilation, and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support. Unfortunately, due to the limited pool of organs, many of these children do not survive to transplant. Mechanical circulatory support of the failing heart in pediatrics is a new and rapidly developing field world-wide. It is utilized in children with acute congestive heart failure associated with congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and myocarditis, both as a bridge to transplantation and as a bridge to myocardial recovery. The current arsenal of mechanical assist devices available for children is limited to ECMO, intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation, centrifugal pump ventricular assist devices, the DeBakey ventricular assist device Child; the Thoratec ventricular assist device; and the Berlin Heart. In the spring of 2004, five contracts were awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to support preclinical development for a range of pediatric ventricular assist devices and similar circulatory support systems. The support of early development efforts provided by this program is expected to yield several devices that will be ready for clinical trials within the next few years. Our work reviews the current international experience with mechanical circulatory support in children and summarizes our own experience since 2005 with the Berlin Heart, comparing the indications for use, length of support, and outcome between these modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reviews
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2010

Keywords

  • Heart failure
  • Heart transplantation
  • Ventricular assist device

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