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Artificial hearts may help patients survive until transplant
Date:3/27/2014

WASHINGTON (March 27, 2014) The largest single-center study of patients implanted with a total artificial heart finds the device may help patients in severe heart failure survive until they can receive a heart transplant, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Researchers studied 22 patients implanted with total artificial hearts at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in 2012 and 2013 to look at the primary endpoints of death and incidence of stroke at 60 days. They found that five patients had died, four had successfully undergone heart transplants and 13 were alive and waiting for donor hearts. Eight of these patients were discharged home with the artificial hearts to await transplant. Three patients had strokes, one of whom was alive and waiting for a transplant. No patients had artificial heart-associated infections.

All patients in the study had end-stage cardiomyopathy heart disease in which the heart muscle becomes thick, enlarged or rigid and were in end-stage heart failure prior to implantation.

"We were pleased to see how well many of these patients did," said Swaminatha Gurudevan, M.D., cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, and lead investigator of the study. "Given how sick these patients were, we expected to see higher mortality rates."

Most of the deaths that occurred were among patients who were sickest before their procedure, he said.

Patients were separated into three categories based on how sick they were before receiving the artificial heart. The sickest patients were in critical cardiogenic shock, a serious condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood for the body's needs that has a nearly 100 percent mortality rate when untreated. Of the 10 patients in this category, six were alive at 60 days. One had received a heart transplant, and five were awaiting transplant one from home.

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Contact: Beth Casteel
bcasteel@acc.org
202-375-6275
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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