Are there currently any biventricular heart assist devices used as destination therapy for patients with end stage CHF? If so, does your institute use them?

Submitted by Andrea from Georgia on 03/12/2015

by William E. Cohn, MD

Hi Andrea,

Currently there are no long-term fully implantable devices designed specifically for bi-ventricular assistance, however a few devices are in preclinical, or early clinical investigation. Most of these, like the Carmat, the Cleveland Heart and the BiVACOR are total heart replacement devices. The most commonly used bi-ventricular replacement device is the SynCardia temporary total heart replacement technology. Results with this device have been quite good, with the majority of patients surviving to heart transplant, and a few patients have had the device in for 3-4 years doing well. The most common strategy for bi-ventricular support is currently the use of a pair of HeartWare left ventricular assist devices, with one of them implanted and configured as a right ventricular assist device. The patient has two controllers and two battery packs, one for each pump. Although perhaps a little more complex, many centers have reported good success with this arrangement as well.

The Texas Heart Institute has all of these devices in our armamentarium, and we offer the full range of heart support technology.

I hope this helps.