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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2008 Feb;27(2):158-64. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2007.10.015.

The Papworth experience with the Levitronix CentriMag ventricular assist device.

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Transplant Unit, Papworth Hospital, Papworth Everard, Cambridge, UK.



The Levitronix CentriMag ventricular assist device (VAD) is a centrifugal pump designed for short-term extracorporeal support in cardiogenic shock. The aim of this study is to report our clinical experience with the Levitronix CentriMag for uni- and biventricular support.


Between July 2004 and December 2006, 27 patients were supported using the Levitronix CentriMag device. Nineteen were male. Mean age was 47.9 (range 19 to 72) years. Indications for support at implantation were cardiogenic shock that included: end-stage heart failure and too ill to undergo transplantation, with questionable neurologic status (9 subjects); right ventricular failure after left VAD (LVAD) implantation (5 subjects); post-cardiotomy status (7 subjects); and acute donor graft failure after heart transplantation (6 subjects).


Post-VAD 30-day survival was 30% (8 patients). Mean support time was 11 days for all patients (range 1 to 51 days). Mean support time for 14 Levitronix biventricular VADs was 11 (range 1 to 51) days. Mean support time for 7 Levitronix LVADs was 13.7 (range 1 to 30) days. The highest survival rates after Levitronix support were after donor graft failure (50%) and after cardiotomy (42%). Levitronix right VAD (RVAD) support after long-term LVAD insertion incurred 100% hospital mortality. Of those who survived, 8 patients were discharged home after VAD support and remain alive to date. Two patients were bridged to primary and another bridged to repeat heart transplantation. Five patients were weaned to recovery. Re-operation for bleeding occurred in 8 patients, clinical evidence of cerebral thromboembolism in 3, overwhelming sepsis in 1, and aortic thrombus formation in 1. Clot formation in the tubing was observed in 1 patient, necessitating emergent replacement at bedside, which was successful.


The Levitronix CentriMag system is a reliable and facile temporary circulatory support system as a bridge to decision in patients with refractory acute cardiogenic shock.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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