The abdominal left ventricular assist device (ALVAD) is an order of magnitude more effective than conventional intra-aortic balloon pumping (IABP) in unloading and providing circulatory support to the failing left ventricle. This is a report of a unique case which demonstrates that in the absence of pulmonary vascular obstruction or constriction, the ALVAD can substitute for both left and right heart function. A 21-year-old patient with a congenital bicuspid aortic valve developed acute valvular endocarditis which rapidly progressed to congestive heart failure. An operation was undertaken, the mitral and aortic valves were excised and replaced by porcine heterografts, and a fistula from the right sinus of Valsalva to the right ventricle was closed. When coronary circulation was restored, irreversible ischemic contracture of the left ventricle, or 'stone heart' syndrome, developed and emergency ALVAD or partial artificial heart implantation was effected. This device functioned as a total artificial heart for nearly six days, while a donor heart was sought. The patient then underwent removal of the ALVAD and cardiac and renal allografting. The transplanted heart functioned well, but the patient expired fifteen days later from gram-negative sepsis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 1978|
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