Bridging patients after salvage from bridge to decision directly to transplant by means of prolonged support with the CentriMag short-term centrifugal pump

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009 Jul;138(1):227-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2009.03.018. Epub 2009 May 12.


Objective: Optimum strategy for salvage in patients with acutely decompensated end-stage heart failure and severe multiorgan dysfunction is complex. We present our experience with prolonged CentriMag (Levitronix, Waltham, Mass) support for transitioning patients after successful salvage from bridge to decision directly to transplant.

Methods: Records of patients who underwent salvage with a CentriMag as bridge to decision and later to transplant were reviewed. Between June 2003 and June 2008, 4 patients in cardiogenic shock from acute decompensated end-stage heart failure and multiorgan dysfunction underwent salvage with biventricular CentriMag as bridge to decision. Three were male. Mean age was 39.3 years (range 24-52 years). Three had dilated cardiomyopathy; 1 had ischemic cardiomyopathy. All had preoperative mechanical ventilation, large doses of multiple inotropes, and intra-aortic balloon support. All also had acute liver and renal failure and metabolic acidosis.

Results: After mean postimplant period of 43 days (range 7-70 days), patients had reversal of end-organ dysfunction; after mean waiting time of 31 days (range 21-67 days), all were transplant listed. Mean mechanical circulatory support was 87.7 days (range 26-105 days). No thromboembolic or neurologic events or mechanical failures occurred. Posttransplant mean ventilation and intensive care unit stay were 2 and 4 days (ranges 1-4 and 3-7 days), respectively. All patients were discharged home and remain alive and well.

Conclusion: CentriMag use as long as 3 months appears to be safe and cost-effective for bridging selected patients directly to transplant after salvage. Further clinical experience is still needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / therapy
  • Salvage Therapy*
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / therapy
  • Waiting Lists