Implantation of Cardio West Total Artificial Heart for Irreversible Acute Myocardial Infarction Shock
AbstractPatients who develop cardiogenic shock after acute myocardial infarction have a very high mortality rate despite early reperfusion therapy. Hemodynamic stabilization can often only be achieved by implanting a mechanical circulatory support system. When, in cases representing expansive myocardial impairment without any chance of recovery, pharmacological therapy and the use of percutaneous assist devices have failed, the implantation of a total artificial heart is indicated. We report our first experiences with this extensive and innovative method of managing irreversible cardiogenic shock patients. The CardioWest total artificial heart was implanted in 5 patients (male; mean age, 50 years). All patients were in irreversible cardiogenic shock despite maximum dosages of catecholamines, an intra-aortic balloon pump and/or a femoro-femoral bypass. In all patients early reperfusion therapy was performed. After implantation of the Cardio West system, all dysfunctional organ systems rapidly recovered in all patients. Four of 5 patients underwent successful heart transplantation after a mean support time of 156 days. One patient died because of enterocolic necroses caused by an embolic event after termination of dicumarol therapy. In summary, our first experiences justify this extensive management in young patients who would otherwise have died within a few hours.
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