Background Historically, the “temporary” or short-term ventricular assist device (VAD) was used only as a quick bridge to recovery for children with an acute process. In the current era, the devices that were originally used for temporary support are now being used to support children for longer durations and for a variety of indications. In this study we aimed to describe the overall use, patients’ characteristics and outcomes of “temporary” VAD use in children. Methods The Pediatric Interagency Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support (PediMACS) is a National Institutes of Health–supported national registry for United States Food and Drug Administration–approved VADs in patients <19 years of age at the time of VAD implantation (either durable or temporary VAD). Patients undergoing placement of a device classified as a temporary VAD between September 19, 2012 and June 30, 2016 were included. Results Temporary VADs were implanted in 63 patients at 20 centers, accounting for 19% of all pediatric VAD patients entered into PediMACS. The median age at implantation was 3.7 (range <1 day to 18) years. The underlying diseases were: congenital heart disease in 26 (41%), 20 of whom were classified as single ventricle; cardiomyopathy in 25 (40%); and myocarditis/rejection in 12 (19%). Patients were predominately Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) Profile 1 (51%), and 10 patients (16%) had previously been supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Median duration of support was 15 (range <1 day to 227) days, with 41 patients (65%) being on support for ≥10 days. The most frequent adverse events were bleeding (29% of patients) and neurologic dysfunction (24% of patients). Overall, 71% (45) achieved a positive outcome (defined as bridge to recovery [30%], transplantation [17%], alive on device [2%] or transition to durable VAD [22%]). Eighty-eight percent (n = 22) of the cardiomyopathy patients and 60% (n = 12) of the single-ventricle patients achieved a favorable outcome. Conclusion Devices historically classified as “temporary” pumps are being used not only as a short-term mechanical circulatory support strategy but also as a longer term support strategy. In this multi-institutional, high-acuity, complex patient cohort, the use of “temporary” VADs resulted in a positive outcome (bridge to transplant, recovery durable device or alive) in 71% of patients.
- heart transplant
- ventricular assist device