"The small size and unique configuration of this particular model allows us to place it adjacent to the ventricle itself, as opposed to implanting the device in the abdominal wall," commented Dr. McGee. "This is a major step forward, as it is intended to reduce the potential risks associated with a more extensive surgery such as bleeding and infections. We are also able to cast a wider net of potential subjects and can include more women in the trials since the device is significantly smaller than previous models."
The device is a tiny centrifugal blood pump, with a levitating impeller that spins to continuously move blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A driveline cable attaches to the pump and connects to a portable controller, powered by a pair of battery packs, worn by the subject allowing for mobility.
According to the American Heart Association, 4.9 million patients in the United States suffer from heart failure, with an additional 550,000 diagnosed each year. The National Institutes of Health estimates that in the US, approximately 100,000 patients per year could benefit from an LVAD.
"Heart failure is a growing epidemic in this country and we hope that this trial will lead to better outcomes and fewer complications for patients with severe heart failure," said Dr. McGee. This LVAD is the next step in the evolution of heart assist devices, which, in the future, could result in a fully-implantable model.
|Contact: Amy Dobrozsi|
Northwestern Memorial Hospital