Tuesday, April 11, 2017

From heart failure to health: Pump shown to restore organ to fitness

medicalxpress.com ^ 

As we face a shortage of donated hearts for transplant, the study authors are calling for the devices to be considered as a tool which can allow patients to restore their health.

The research examined the effect of mechanical heart pumps, known as left ventricular assist devices (LVAD).

The devices are used to support patients with severe heart failure while they wait for a heart transplant.

Surgeons implant the battery operated, mechanical pump which helps the main pumping chamber of the heart- the left ventricle - - to push blood around the body. Fitted at the six specialist NHS centres across the UK, LVADs are used for patients who have reached the end stage of heart failure.
Publishing today in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, the team report that LVAD combined with medication can fully restore heart function in patients.
Dr Djordje Jakovljevic, Senior Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Ageing and Heart Failure within the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University, is lead author on the paper.
He said: "We talk about these devices as a bridge-to-transplant, something which can keep a patient alive until a heart is available for transplantation.
"However, we knew that sometimes patients recover to such an extent that they no longer need a heart transplant.
"For the first time, what we have shown is that heart function is restored in some patients - to the extent that they are just like someone healthy who has never had heart disease. In effect, these devices can be a bridge to full recovery in some patients."
(Excerpt) Read more at medicalxpress.com ...