The HeartWare HVAD is a small, third generation continuous flow pump that is intracorporeally placed for support of a failing ventricle in adult patients. This device is small in size when compared to other left ventricular assist devices and can therefore be used in smaller sized pediatric patients. We present our initial experience using the HVAD as a bridge to heart transplantation in the pediatric population. We performed a retrospective, single center, nonrandomized review of 17 pediatric patients who underwent HVAD implantation between June 2013 and March 2016. The primary endpoints evaluated in this study were overall survival to heart transplantation, ongoing device support, or death. In this patient cohort, nine (53%) of 17 patients were male. The median age of the patients was 13.4±3.8 (range 5–17) years. The median body surface area was 1.4±0.4(0.7–2) m2. Etiologies of heart failure requiring HVAD support were dilated cardiomyopathy (n=8), myocarditis (n=5) and noncompaction cardiomyopathy (n=4). The overall mean length of HVAD support was 254±298 (range 2–804) days. A successful outcome (bridge to transplant and ongoing mechanical support) was achieved in 13 patients (76.5%). Of the 13 patients, nine (69.2%) were bridged to heart transplantation and four continue to receive support (30.7%) and are eligible for transplantation. Post-transplant survival has been 100%, with a mean follow-up of 296±264.5 (range 18–785) days. The most common complication was pump thrombosis (23.5%) in follow-up. Four patients (23.5%) experienced no complications. The HVAD continuous flow ventricular assist device can be safely used to bridge pediatric patients to cardiac transplantation. Favorable outcomes of this device are comparable to the adult population. This analysis demonstrated safe and effective implantation of the HVAD System in a child with a BSA of 0.7 m2.
Artif Organs. 2017 Oct 15.