Promising results from new advanced heart pump

11th May 2016

Many people with severe heart failure who receive a new advanced heart pump continue to survive a year on, says a new study.

The HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device, from Thoratec/St Jude, won European CE Mark approval in October after a study showed more than nine in ten patients had survived to the six month stage.  Now eight in ten are still living after a year.

The study of 50 patients included those waiting for a transplant and those receiving the pump as a treatment (called destination therapy). Three in four of the patients remained on heart support. In the UK, the devices are only approved on the NHS for those waiting for a transplant.

The researchers reported there were no incidents of blood clotting caused by the pump, device malfunctions or destruction of red blood cells, some of the anticipated issues. And some earlier problems such as bleeding and strokes were reduced by half between the six month and one year assessments. The six-minute walk test increased significantly from the starting point, as did quality-of-life scores.

"In this first in-human experience with the HeartMate 3, survival remains high," lead investigator Dr Thomas Krabatsch, from the Deutsches Herzzentru in Berlin, Germany, told the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation 2016 Scientific Sessions.  

For more, see here.