Discontinuation of HeartWare RVAD support without device removal in chronic BIVAD patients

ASAIO J. 2012 Jan-Feb;58(1):15-8. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e3182376b7b.


During biventricular assist device (BVAD) support, right ventricular (RV) assistance may restore sufficient RV function after several weeks to months. Since November 2009, 10 patients (9 men and 1 woman; mean age, 49.7 ± 14.4 y) suffering from idiopathic dilatative cardiomyopathy received BVAD employing two implantable continuous-flow pumps of the HeartWare type. In three male patients, aged 53, 57, and 60 years, after a right ventricular assist device (RVAD) support time of 15.6, 11.2, and 3.6 months, respectively, the RVAD was stopped, and the percutaneous lead was surgically shortened in two cases. There were no differences in preoperative RV geometry and function or in severity of tricuspid valve regurgitation in patients with and without delayed RV recovery. Follow-up echocardiography revealed no regurgitation through the right pump in any patient. One patient died due to severe sepsis 63 days later; the other two patients are currently on left ventricular assist devices support at home, 120 and 236 days after RVAD deactivation with stable hemodynamic conditions and without any thromboembolic events. RV function may recover even after weeks or months on BVAD support. The HeartWare HVAD used as an RVAD may be stopped and left in place without complications.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / pathology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / surgery*
  • Device Removal / adverse effects
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods