Experience with the SynCardia total artificial heart in a Canadian centre

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Abstract

Background

The SynCardia total artificial heart (TAH) provides complete circulatory support by replacing both native ventricles. Accepted indications include bridge to transplantation and destination therapy. We review our experience with TAH implantation during a period when axial flow pump became available.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed the demographics, clinical characteristics and survival of all patients receiving the TAH.

Results

From September 2004 to November 2016, 13 patients (12 men, mean age 45 ± 13 yr) received the TAH for refractory cardiogenic shock secondary to idiopathic (56%) or ischemic (17%) cardiomyopathy and to other various causes (33%). Before implantation, mean ejection fraction was 14% ± 4%, 7 (54%) patients had previous cardiac surgery, 4 (31%) were on mechanical ventilation, and 3 (23%) patients were on dialysis. The mean duration of TAH support was 46 ± 40 days. Three (23%) patients died while on support after a mean of 15 days. Actuarial survival on support was 77% ± 12% at 30 days after implantation. Complications on support included stroke (n = 1, 8%), acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring prolonged intubation (n = 5, 38%) and acute renal failure requiring temporary dialysis (n = 5, 38%). Ten (77%) patients survived to be transplanted after a mean of 52 ± 42 days of support. Actuarial survival rates after transplant were 67% ± 16% at 1 month and 56% ± 17% at 1 year after transplantation.

Conclusion

The TAH provides an alternative with low incidence of neurologic events in extremely fragile and complex patients waiting for heart transplantation. Complex and unusual anatomic conditions explained the current use of TAH.

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