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Smallest full support heart assist device on trial at Northwestern Memorial
Date:4/27/2009

CHICAGO - Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is the first center in Chicago and among the first in the country to implant a new experimental left ventricular assist device (LVAD) into subjects with advanced heart failure, a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body's organs. The HeartWare Ventricular Assist System (HeartWare System) features the HVAD Pump, the smallest LVAD to provide full cardiac support currently under investigation in the United States. The HeartWare System is intended as a bridge to heart transplantation. Northwestern Memorial surgeons have implanted four subjects with the device, and are the first in the country to transplant a subject as part of this trial.

Individuals with advanced heart failure experience symptoms such as swelling, fatigue, shortness of breath and are not able to exert themselves. Medications are often successful for managing symptoms in the earlier stages of heart failure, but for patients in the late-stages heart transplantation is considered the best treatment option. However, with just over 2,000 donor hearts becoming available each year, the wait for a transplant can be long. The smaller model is being studied as a less cumbersome LVAD procedure in subjects with advanced-stage heart failure who need support to survive until a donor heart becomes available. In subsequent trials the HVAD Pump will be trialed in subjects that are not transplant candidates.

Edwin McGee Jr., MD, the principal investigator of the trial, cardiac surgeon and the surgical director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, lead the team that implanted the four subjects. The national clinical trial hopes to enroll up to 150 subjects. Twenty-two subjects have been enr
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Contact: Amy Dobrozsi
adobrozs@nmh.org
312-926-5900
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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