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Acute Card Care. 2009;11(4):204-15. doi: 10.1080/17482940903177028.

Mechanical circulatory support in the ICCU.

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1
Thessaloniki Heart Institute, St Luke's Hospital-Cardiac Surgery, Thessaloniki, Greece. apitsis@otenet.gr

Abstract

The mortality of acute heart failure (AHF) remains high despite advances in treatment. Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) can be applied in AHF, refractory to conventional measures, to improve outcomes. This article aims to describe the current and the prospective role of MCS in the treatment of AHF. The support strategies and the indications of MCS are continuously evolving, including situations considered as contraindications in the past. Appropriate patient selection, advanced device technology and improved patient management have contributed to the substantially improved results. Evolution in device technology results in evolution of the clinical applications of MCS. Earlier application of MCS, with novel, flexible and individualized support strategies is now feasible. Bridging to recovery is the most intriguing support strategy and bridging to future treatments is feasible with long-term support. The progressively expanding role of MCS in the treatment of heart failure is not reflected in the existing guidelines. Being reserved for refractory heart failure, MCS has been applied to the sickest patients who were less amenable to randomization. This explains the lack of robust evidence, but also highlights the value of the progressively improving results. The anticipated wider application of MCS should be better defined, systematically recorded, and guided.

PMID:
19742354
DOI:
10.1080/17482940903177028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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