HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device Implantation for Pediatric Heart Failure-A Single Center Approach

Artif Organs. 2019 Jan;43(1):21-29. doi: 10.1111/aor.13344. Epub 2018 Dec 18.


While pediatric HeartWare HVAD application has increased, determining candidacy and timing for initiation of pediatric VAD support has remained a challenge. We present our experience with a systematic approach to HVAD implantation as a bridge to pediatric heart transplantation. We performed a retrospective, single center review of pediatric patients (n = 11) who underwent HVAD implantation between September 2014 and January 2018. Primary endpoints evaluated were survival to heart transplantation, need for right ventricular assist device (RVAD) at any point, ongoing HVAD support, or death. Median patient age was 11 years (range: 3-16). Median BSA was 1.25 m2 (range: 0.56-2.1). Heart failure etiologies requiring support were dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 8), myocarditis (n = 1), congenital mitral valve disease (n = 1), and single ventricle heart failure (n = 1). Median time from cardiac ICU admission for heart failure to HVAD placement was 15 days (range 3-55), based on standardized VAD implantation criteria involving imaging assessment and noncardiac organ evaluation. The majority of patients (91%) were INTERMACS Level 2 at time of implant. Three patients (27%) had CentriMag RVAD placement at time of HVAD implantation. Two of these three patients had successful RVAD explanation within 2 weeks. Median length of HVAD support was 60 days (range 6-405 days). Among the 11 patients, survival during HVAD therapy to date is 91% (10/11) with 9 (82%) bridged to heart transplantation and one (9%) continuing to receive support. Posttransplant survival has been 100%, with median follow-up of 573 days (range 152-1126). A systematic approach to HVAD implantation can provide excellent results in pediatric heart failure management for a variety of etiologies and broad BSA range.

Keywords: Heart failure; Mechanical circulatory support; Outcomes; Pediatric; Pulmonary hypertension; Ventricular assist device.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection*
  • Prosthesis Implantation / instrumentation
  • Prosthesis Implantation / methods
  • Prosthesis Implantation / standards*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waiting Lists / mortality