The AbioCor® total artificial heart (TAH) is undergoing clinical feasibility testing as destination therapy in patients with end-stage congestive heart failure. So far, the device has been implanted in 11 of a projected 15 patients. The TAH has performed reliably, providing adequate circulatory support while extending survival and improving quality of life in most recipients. Thromboembolism remains a problem but is being addressed by optimizing device and patient management and refining the anticoagulation protocol. Because the device is totally implantable and requires no penetration of the skin, infection has been minimized. All recipients so far have been men. The device is large and this limits its use in smaller patients (i.e. women, small men and children). A smaller version is being developed. Although it has yet to receive Food and Drug Administration approval, the early clinical results suggest that the AbioCor TAH may become an accepted alternative to heart transplantation for selected patients with end-stage congestive heart failure. Further investigation with regard to its primary clinical applicability, i.e. as a rescue device for sudden catastrophic heart failure, is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)