BACKGROUND: Continuous-flow (CF) ventricular assist devices (VADs) have largely replaced pulsatile-flow VADs in adult patients. However, there are few data on CF VADs among pediatric patients. In this study we aimed to describe the overall use, patients’ characteristics and outcomes of CF VADs in this population.
METHODS: The Pediatric Interagency Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support (PediMACS) is a national registry for U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA)-approved VADs in patients <19 years of age. Patients undergoing placement of durable CF VADs between September 2012 and June 2015 were included and outcomes were compared with those of adults from the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS).
RESULTS: CF VADs were implanted in 109 patients at 35 hospitals. The median age at implantation was 15 years (2.8 to 18.9 years) and median weight was 62 kg (range 16 to 141 kg). The underlying disease was cardiomyopathy in 89 (82%) patients. The INTERMACS level at time of implant was Level 1 in 20 (19%), Level 2 in 64 (61%) and Levels 3 to 7 in 21 (20%) patients. Most were implanted as LVADs (n = 102, 94%). Median duration of support was 2.3 months (range <1 day to 28 months). Serious adverse event rates were low, including neurologic dysfunction (early event rate 4.1 per 100 patient-months with 2 late events). Competing outcomes analysis at 6 months post-implant indicated 61% transplanted, 31% alive with device in place and 8% death before transplant. These outcomes compared favorably with the 3,894 adults supported with CF VADs as a bridge to transplant.
CONCLUSIONS: CF VADs are commonly utilized in older children and adolescents, with excellent survival rates. Further study is needed to understand impact of patient and device characteristics on outcomes in pediatric patients.