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Int J Artif Organs. 2006 Oct;29(10):920-37.

Pediatric mechanical circulatory support.

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  • 1Division of Congenital Heart Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.


Over the past two decades clinicians and researchers have sought to bring mechanical circulatory support (MCS) to pediatric patients with heart failure. ECMO, IABPs, and VADs have all been used in infants and children as a bridge to myocardial recovery or as a bridge to transplant. However, until recently, a commitment by industry, government, and researchers towards the development of pediatric MCS has not been present, especially in the United States. Advancements in adult VAD design to smaller, quieter, and fully implantable pumps capable of complete outpatient support have sparked curiosity in the application of this technology to children. Also, the increasing success of palliating congenital heart disease is creating an ever-growing cohort of children and adolescents with heart failure. These changing demographics and technological advances have caused a refocus of attention. This is most clearly demonstrated by the international use of several established MCS pediatric and neonatal systems, by the FDAOs increasing proclivity to allow the use of international pediatric VADs in the USA, and by the recent National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funding of several institutions to develop pediatric VADs. This review describes the different aspects of pediatric MCS including indications, the features of the various VADs, and their current application in children worldwide.

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