Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices for Acute Right Ventricular Failure

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Abstract

Right ventricular (RV) failure remains a major cause of global morbidity and mortality for patients with advanced heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, or acute myocardial infarction and after major cardiac surgery. Over the past 2 decades, percutaneously delivered acute mechanical circulatory support pumps specifically designed to support RV failure have been introduced into clinical practice. RV acute mechanical circulatory support now represents an important step in the management of RV failure and provides an opportunity to rapidly stabilize patients with cardiogenic shock involving the RV. As experience with RV devices grows, their role as mechanical therapies for RV failure will depend less on the technical ability to place the device and more on improved algorithms for identifying RV failure, patient monitoring, and weaning protocols for both isolated RV failure and biventricular failure. In this review, we discuss the pathophysiology of acute RV failure and both the mechanism of action and clinical data exploring the utility of existing RV acute mechanical circulatory support devices.

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