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ASAIO J. 2011 Jul-Aug;57(4):254-61. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e318218679e.

Clinical experience and patient outcomes associated with the TandemHeart percutaneous transseptal assist device among a heterogeneous patient population.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


There is a paucity of literature describing the outcomes associated with the use of TandemHeart percutaneous ventricular assist device (PVAD). The literature is limited by analyzing only subsets of patients. We present the clinical outcomes and safety associated with the use of TandemHeart among a series of heterogeneous patients requiring PVAD support. We reviewed the clinical experience, hemodynamic variables, survival outcomes, and complications associated with the implantation of TandemHeart support device among 25 patients presenting to our institution. Indications for PVAD implantation were cardiogenic shock (56%), ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) (20%), postpericardiotomy (16%), and high-risk percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) or ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation (8%). TandemHeart was used for an average of 4.8 ± 2.1 days and demonstrated significant hemodynamic improvements (pre- and postimplantation left ventricular ejection fractions were 21.5% ± 15% and 24.5% ± 10.5%, respectively [p = 0.06]). The cardiac index improved from a mean 2.04 ± 075 L/min/m² to 2.45 ± 073 L/min/m² (p = 0.09). The mixed venous oxygen saturation (SVO2) increased from 55.14 ± 13.34 to 66.43 ± 7.43 (p = 0.008) after implantation. TandemHeart was used as a bridge to left ventricular assist device implantation (44%) or recovery (20%). Thirty-six percent of patients died on support or shortly after PVAD removal. Thirty, 90-day, and long-term (>90 days) survival rates were 56%, 52%, and 36%, respectively. Procedure-related complications were reported in 13 patients (56%), and the majority (90%) was related to vascular access (bleeding or pseudoaneurysm). The TandemHeart device is a safe therapeutic option as a bridge-to-recovery or bridge-to-bridge for patients with hemodynamic compromise regardless of the etiology. The favorable hemodynamic profile, postimplantation survival rates, and manageable complications support its use to assist hemodynamic recovery in patients refractory to conventional therapy.

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