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J Heart Lung Transplant. 1996 Aug;15(8):840-2.

Transient normalization of systolic and diastolic function after support with a left ventricular assist device in a patient with dilated cardiomyopathy.

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Department of Medicine, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.


A 19-year-old man who had fulminant heart failure caused by an idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy was supported with a left ventricular assist device for 183 days as a bridge to heart transplantation. At the time of intended transplantation it was noted that the patient's heart had returned to normal size, had a normal ejection fraction, and was able to maintain normal pressures and flows. In view of the apparent recovery of cardiac properties, the left ventricular assist device was explanted and the transplantation was not performed. However, the heart dilated, ejection fraction worsened, and the patient died of heart failure exacerbated acutely by a systemic viral illness. Although such recovery of systolic function is uncommon, as use of the left ventricular assist devices becomes more widespread other physicians might encounter similar findings and, in this regard, they might find our experience useful as they contemplate their treatment options.

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