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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Sep-Oct;54(2):115-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2011.04.001.

Surgical treatment of advanced heart failure: alternatives to heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory assist devices.

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  • 1Division of Cardiac Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Although orthotopic heart transplantation is the gold standard for definitive surgical treatment of end-stage heart failure, other operative therapies exist for dealing with severe systolic left ventricular dysfunction. The choice of surgical intervention depends on the etiology and functional characteristics of the patient's ventricular dysfunction. In patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy, surgical revascularization improves survival. Patients with mitral regurgitation experience significant functional improvement from mitral valve repair and replacement. In patients with aortic valve dysfunction, aortic valve replacement results in improved survival and functional status. Although surgical ventricular reconstruction is controversial, significant data exist suggesting that it is an effective therapy in a subset of patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Finally, passive restraint devices are effective at halting further ventricular dilation. Although cardiac surgery in patients with severe ventricular dysfunction can be complicated by significant morbidity and mortality, experienced centers have demonstrated acceptable outcomes in carefully selected patients.

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