Background. The Arrow LionHeart LVD 2000 left ventricular assist device is the first fully implantable system designed for destination therapy. We report on 2 years of experience with this device, which we implanted for the first time in October 1999. Methods. Since October 1999, 6 male patients between 55 and 69 years of age (mean 65 ± 6 years) have received the device at our center; all were in New York Heart Association functional class IV and ineligible for heart transplantation. Results. All surgical procedures were uneventful, with a timely extubation in 5 of 6 patients. Duration of support was 17 to 670 (mean 245 ± 138) days, with a cumulative experience of 4.5 years. Three patients recovered to be discharged from hospital under support and are long-term survivors. Three patients died 17, 31, and 112 days after implantation from multiple organ failure without being discharged to their homes. The survival rate is 50% after 18 months. There were no major system-related problems or any device-related infections, which are otherwise commonly found among vertricular assist device patients. Conclusions. Our preliminary experience demonstrates the reliability and efficacy of the different parts of the system. Nevertheless, further sophistication is needed to reduce the size of its components, which so far still constitutes a limiting factor.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine