The Berlin Heart EXCOR pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for bridge to cardiac transplantation (BTT) in children. As the clinical outcomes of the EXCOR continue to be evaluated in the United States, data on post-transplant survival are needed. The UNOS database was used to identify patients <18 years old undergoing orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) from June 2004 to June 2014. Patients undergoing BTT with the EXCOR were identified. A matched cohort of (358) patients undergoing OHT without pretransplant mechanical circulatory support (no-MCS) was also identified as control subjects. The post-transplant survival between the two groups was compared. There were 2,885 pediatric OHT during the study period. Of these, 358 (50%) patients were BTT with the EXCOR. At time of listing, inotrope use was 51.7% vs. 53.4%, (p = 0.653) in the EXCOR cohort and the no-MCS cohort, respectively. At the time of transplantation, end-organ function was equivalent with same median creatinine levels (0.4, p = 0.203) and median total bilirubin (0.5, p = 0.682) for the EXCOR and the no-MCS cohorts. Kaplan-Meier post-transplantation survival did not differ between the two cohorts (30 day, 1 year, and 5 year post-transplant survival was 94%, 90%, and 72% [EXCOR cohort] vs. 98%, 91%, and 77% [no-MCS cohort]; p = 0.160). Short- and mid-term post-transplant survival using the EXCOR Pediatric VAD as a BTT in children is equivalent to patients who underwent OHT without pretransplant MCS.
- pediatric heart transplant
- ventricular assist device