Navigation Links
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Involved in Projects To Develop Nation's First Heart Assist Devices for Young Children
Date:4/3/2008

Heart Center experts helping to develop first implantable and external

pediatric heart pumps

PITTSBURGH, April 3, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC -- a national leader in the use of lifesaving ventricular assist devices (VADs) for children in heart failure -- is part of a collaboration that recently has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an external heart pump designed specifically for small children.

VADs are mechanical devices that take over the pumping action of the heart and offer lifesaving support, most often acting as a bridge to keep patients alive until a donor heart becomes available for transplantation. There are VADs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults and larger adolescents in the United States, but none are designed and approved for use in infants and toddlers.

Cardiac experts in Children's Hospital's Heart Center currently are involved in two separate projects to develop external and implantable VADs. It is estimated that as many as 1,000 children annually may benefit from these technologies, according to Peter D. Wearden, MD, PhD, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon and director of Pediatric Mechanical Cardiopulmonary Support at Children's.

"Unfortunately, because this is a relatively small market, companies that make medical devices historically have not focused their attention on pediatric VADs," Dr. Wearden said. "Because of this, our options for treating young children in heart failure have been extremely limited. Our hope is that these two projects will lead to the first pediatric devices being approved by the FDA for use in the United States."

Children's and medical device manufacturer Levitronix(R) LLC received a $2.3 million National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to complete development of, and to clinically test, the first external centrifugal pump designed specifically for infants and small children in heart failure.

The team currently is finalizing tests of this device in the laboratory and hopes to begin the clinical trial in the coming year. The device, known as the PediVAS (ventricular assist system), would be an external pump designed to support pediatric patients in heart failure for days to four weeks.

Dr. Wearden also is spearheading efforts to develop the first totally implantable pediatric VAD in the United States that could be used for longer periods of time than the external pump.

In the development of an implantable pediatric VAD known as PediaFlow, Children's team is partnering with two pioneers in cardiac support, Harvey S. Borovetz, PhD, deputy director, Artificial Organs and Medical Devices, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and chair, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh; and James Antaki, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University.

Industry partners in the consortium include Launch Point Technologies (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and WorldHeart Corporation (Salt Lake City).

This project, also funded by the NIH (one of only five centers in the nation to receive NIH funding for such a project), has progressed through an intensive engineering design phase to successful testing in the laboratory. The consortium is entering the final year of the five-year NIH contract to develop the PediaFlow.

"Our dream for the PediaFlow -- which is about the size of a walnut -- is that it could be totally implanted into a child to support his or her heart until a donor could be located or until the heart function recovers," Dr. Wearden said. "The PediaFlow would be magnetically powered and potentially could support a child for as long as six months."

Under the leadership of Victor Morell, MD, chief of Children's Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Children's Heart Center has established itself as one of the most active and innovative centers in the care of children in heart failure in the country over the last two decades. Children's has performed more than 300 heart, heart-lung, lung and heart-liver transplants in children, including more than 200 heart transplants.

Children's is one of the world's most experienced centers in the use of VADs to support pediatric transplant patients awaiting donor hearts.

Until such time as a pediatric VAD is developed and approved for use, Children's is one of several hospitals in the United States to have asked for and been granted, on a case-by-case basis, approval from the FDA to implant the Berlin Heart Excor for compassionate use. Five patients at Children's have received Berlin Heart Excor devices and gone on to receive successful heart transplants. This VAD, developed in Germany, is an external pump that can be used in small children.

"We've been successful in using the Berlin Heart pump to keep young patients alive and healthy long enough for a donor heart to become available for transplant, and we are able to use adult pumps in our larger pediatric patients," Dr. Morell said. "But getting approval to use a Berlin Heart can be a complicated process, especially when a young child's survival is dependent on it. This funding from the NIH for these projects is so crucial to our efforts to develop a pediatric VAD for use here in the United States as additional options for the hundreds of kids who suffer heart failure each year."

For more information on Children's Heart and Heart-Lung Transplantation Program, please visit http://www.chp.edu/heartcenter.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Nautica Malibu Triathlon Presented by Toyota Raises $718,000 for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Pediatric Cancer Research
2. Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Turns Off the Tap With Green Earth Waterless Carwash
3. Siegel+Gale Designs New HOPE Portal for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
4. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
5. NYC-area 1st: Morgan Stanley Childrens Hospital performs transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement
6. Norwalk virus: Cruise ship illness challenging and costly to hospitals, too
7. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
8. Billy Graham Home After Hospitalization:
9. Alvarado Hospital Files Countersuit Against Blue Shield
10. UHW Announces: Antelope Valley Hospital Caregivers and Board Vote to Ratify First Union Contract With SEIU UHW-West
11. Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Medicare HMOs in Hospital Reimbursement Fight
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the ... facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated ... Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud to host ... items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and awareness for ... The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids ... Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, ... run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor ... on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning ... innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/13/2017)... OrthoAtlanta has been named the official orthopedic and sports ... the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship to be ... Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is proud to ... in many activities leading up to, and including the national ... OrthoAtlanta ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... -- Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ™, ... ... Hearing Aids ... store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly to ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... 8, 2017 ... Unit coming to Washington DC ... When: Tuesday, September 12 th – Monday, September 18 th .The ... free MRI brain scans to the public.Where:  BTF,s ... at 501 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings its nationwide initiative, the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: