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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Dec;40(6):1348-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2011.02.045. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

Incidence and outcome of Levitronix CentriMag support as rescue therapy for early cardiac allograft failure: a United Kingdom national study.

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UK Cardiothoracic Transplant Audit, Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, UK.



Primary graft failure is the most common cause of mortality early after heart transplantation. The availability of relatively low-cost short-term mechanical support devices has altered the management of primary graft failure but there are few data on clinical outcome. Here, we describe the UK experience with Levitronix CentriMag support following heart transplantation across multiple centres.


Data for all adult heart transplants and all CentriMag devices used within 30 days of heart transplantation in the UK between November 2003 and July 2008 were collected. Transplant characteristics were compared for those who did and did not receive CentriMag support, and device outcomes and survival rates were summarised.


A total of 572 heart transplants were performed in this period. As many as 38 patients (6.6%) were implanted with CentriMag devices for primary graft failure. Four patients received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation concurrently and were excluded from further analysis. There were no significant differences in transplant characteristics between the patients who received CentriMag support and those who did not. Twelve patients were explanted; nine survived but three died shortly afterwards. Five underwent acute retransplantation; two survived and three died. Seventeen patients died on support. The 30-day and 1-year survival rates were 50% (95% confidence interval (CI) 32-65%) and 32% (95% CI 18-48%), respectively. Patients who previously had a bridge-to-transplant ventricular assist device (VAD) had significantly better survival than those who did not (1-year survival 71% vs 22%, p = 0.029).


Primary graft failure remains an important early complication of heart transplantation. Levitronix CentriMag support led to the salvage of 32% of patients with severe allograft failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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