We sought to determine whether ventricular assist device (VAD) support is an effective therapy in children with cardiac graft dysfunction. We conducted a retrospective review of VAD usage in this scenario at our institution. Although short-term VAD support was highly successful (89% [eight out of nine] were bridged to recovery), only 29% (2 out of 7) with long-term VAD survived to retransplant. Of note, three out of five mortalities with long-term VAD were related to sepsis (two fungal and one Gram-negative bacterial). Infectious risk imposed by ongoing immunosuppressive therapy limits the role of long-term VAD in this population.
ASAIO J 2015 Nov-Dec;61(6):729-30