We implanted a continuous-flow total heart replacement device in a 55-year-old man who had severe end-stage heart failure due to amyloidosis and no other options for treatment. The device was composed of 2 modified HeartMate II ventricular assist pumps. After the implantation, our patient recovered normal neurologic function and was able to converse with his family and work on his computer. He died of multisystem organ failure caused by severe amyloidosis 5 weeks after the implantation. During the past 6 years, we have been developing and testing various technological iterations for total heart replacement in our animal laboratory and have achieved survival periods as long as 90 days in calves. We describe the development, preclinical trials, and adaptation for human use of the modified HeartMate II apparatus, as well as its role in our patient's survival.
Keywords: Amyloidosis/therapy; biomedical engineering; blood flow velocity; heart, artificial; prosthesis design.