Background: Acute right ventricular (RV) failure is challenging to treat and mechanical circulatory support devices are limited. The TandemHeart ProtekDuo (THPD; TandemLife) is a novel percutaneous RV assist device that can provide 4.0 liters per minute of blood flow through venovenous extracorporeal life support. It allows venous drainage from the right atrium and reinfusion of blood into the main pulmonary artery via internal jugular vein access. We aim to provide real-world insight into disease characteristics resulting in the use of THPD for mechanical support and enhance knowledge of best practice regarding clinical management weaning and removal/exit strategies.
Methods: We retrospectively collected data of consecutive patients who received a THPD device at our center for acute RV failure between August 2015 and February 2018.
Results: Eleven patients were diagnosed with acute RV failure and required placement of THPD. The hospital length of stay ranged from 12 to 223 days. The average length of support ranged from 11 to 154 days. We observed complications such as stroke (18.2%), sepsis (63.6%), massive gastrointestinal bleed (45.5%), and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (54.5%). These patients received on average 85 units of blood products. Survival was 82% at 30 days and 72% at 180 days. Six of the patients were successfully weaned from the THPD devices and 1 patient required venovenous extracorporeal life support.
Conclusions: This real-world experience, despite high morbidity, continues to suggest benefits of THPD for patients with severe acute RV failure.
Keywords: ProtekDuo; TandemHeart; mechanical assist devices; right ventricular failure.