Navigation Links
Mechanical 'artificial hearts' can remove need for heart transplant by returning heart to normal

Mechanical 'artificial hearts' can be used to return severely failing hearts to their normal function, potentially removing the need for heart transplantation, according to new research.

The mechanical devices, known as Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs), are currently used in patients with very severe heart failure whilst they await transplantation. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that using an LVAD combined with certain drug therapies can shrink the enlarged heart and enable it to function normally once the LVAD is removed.

For the study, researchers from Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust gave the full combination therapy to 15 severely ill patients. Of these 15, 11 recovered. Of these, 88 percent were free from recurrence of heart disease five years later. Their quality of life was measured as being at nearly normal.

Dr Emma Birks, from the Heart Science Centre at Imperial and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, and lead author of the study, said: "Donor heart transplant has for many years been the gold standard in the treatment of those with severe heart failure. It has proven greatly successful but is not without its shortcomings ?particularly the shortage of donor hearts and the risk of organ rejection.

"This therapy has the potential to ease the pressure on the waiting list while also offering patients a better alternative to a donor heart ?their own, healthy heart," she added.

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, from the Heart Science Centre at Imperial and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, said: "We are impressed by the dramatic, sustained improvement in the condition of these severely ill patients and we believe that this is due to the additive effects of the particular combination therapy used. The improvement observed was far greater than what has been reported to date for any other therapy in patients with severe, but less advanced, forms of heart failure.

"The study also highlights the fact that 'end stage' heart failure can be reversed and that the heart has the capacity to regenerate itself. It therefore stimulates the search for other strategies and more therapeutic targets in this expanding field of regenerative therapy," he added.

LVADs are currently mainly used in those patients awaiting heart transplant, whose heart failure is very severe. The researchers are hopeful that the technique used in this study could also be used to restore heart function amongst heart patients who are not awaiting transplants.

LVADs work by being connected to the left ventricle of the heart, either directly or by a tube. They remove oxygen rich blood from the left ventricle and take the blood to a mechanical pump. The mechanical pump then pumps the oxygen rich blood into another tube which is connected to the aorta. Once blood is in the aorta, it can be transported to the rest of the body.

Patients were treated with drugs which encourage reverse remodelling of the heart, prevent atrophy and prevent the heart from shrinking beyond its desirable size. The drugs used were lisinopril, carvedilol, spironolactone and losartan in the first stage of treatment and bisoprolol and clenbuterol in the second.

The next step for the researchers is a larger multi-centre trial named the Harefield Recovery Protocol (HARP) study, which is envisaged to start soon on both sides of the atlantic. The researchers are also continuing their molecular and cellular research and studying the mechanistic and therapeutic targets which have made the recovery observed in this study possible.
'"/>

Source:Imperial College London


Related biology news :

1. UT Southwestern researchers find gene mutation that leads to broken hearts
2. Transgenic plants remove more selenium from polluted soil than wild plants, new tests show
3. Rare surgery performed to remove pancreas, prevent diabetes
4. First technology to remove prions that cause vCJD from blood launched
5. New UD technology removes viruses from drinking water
6. UCSD team discovers specialized, rare heart stem cells in newborns
7. Single stem cells from bone heal a broken heart
8. Python a hearty eater
9. Columbia study shows widely used artery clearing device does not help patients during heart attack
10. Researchers reveal secret of key protein in brain and heart function
11. Stem cell therapy successfully treats heart attack in animals

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/14/2016)... , March 14, 2016 NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ... starting the week of March 21 st .  The commercials ... including its popular Squawk on the Street show. --> ... on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... new market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology ... (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), ... To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is ... to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... -- This BCC Research report provides an overview of ... (RNA Seq) market for the years 2015, 2016 and ... data analysis, and services. Use this report ... such as RNA-Sequencing tools and reagents, RNA-Sequencing data analysis, ... segment and forecast their market growth, future trends and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)...  Bayer today announced that a Phase III ... (regorafenib) tablets for the treatment of patients with ... endpoint of a statistically significant improvement in overall ... and safety of regorafenib in patients with HCC ... The safety and tolerability were generally consistent with ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... recent innovations in biotechnology to help treat hormonal and stress related hair loss. ... has captured the hearts of key opinion leaders in the medical and salon ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... at Boston CEO 2016 on May 31st and June 1st at The Four ... for leading executives in the life sciences, offering exclusive access to key decision ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016 - And Other Rising ... of Those Competitor Biologics  - Biosimilar Drug ... Prospects ,  Who are the most important ... are their sales potentials? Discover, in our updated survey, ... opportunities and revenue forecasting. Visiongain,s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: