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J Card Fail. 2003 Dec;9(6):459-63.

Recovery from heart failure with circulatory assist: a working group of the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.



Over the past decade, mechanical circulatory support has been beneficial as a bridge to cardiac transplantation, and anecdotal evidence suggests that heart failure patients fitted with mechanical assist devices experience direct cardiac benefits. Moreover, recent trials on limited numbers and subpopulations of patients--notably the Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Assistance for the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure (REMATCH)--support earlier observations of improved cardiac function and point towards the use of assist devices as destination therapy. Methods and results To investigate this phenomenon, on August 2-3, 2001, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened the working group, "Recovery from Heart Failure with Circulatory Assist" in Bethesda, Maryland. The team included cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, and experts in experimental research. The goal was to prioritize recommendations to guide future programs in: (1). elucidating the mechanisms leading to reverse remodeling associated with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD); (2). exploring advanced treatments, including novel pharmacologies, tissue engineering, and cell therapies, to optimize recovery with LVAD therapy; and (3). identifying target genes, proteins, and cellular pathways to focus on for production of novel therapies for myocardial recovery and cardiovascular disease.


The working group also made research and clinical recommendations to eventually translate findings into improved therapeutic strategies and device design: (1). support collaborations among clinical and basic scientists with an emphasis on clinical/translational research that might eventually lead to clinical trials; (2). identify candidate patients most likely to benefit from LVAD as a destination therapy; (3). explore potential biomarkers indicating when patients could most successfully be weaned from devices; and (4). promote clinical and experimental study of mechanically assisted organs and the tissue derived from them.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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