Left ventricular assist devices can be successfully used in the pediatric population if currently available devices are used appropriately. To highlight their management strategies, the authors' experience with pediatric left ventricular assist devices is reviewed, with case studies documenting options for device use. A retrospective study was conducted for all patients supported at the authors' institutions. Nine pediatric patients received devices during this time, with ages ranging from 12 days to 15 years. There was considerable size differences in our patients, with weights ranging between 2.5 and 73 kg. Either the Abiomed BVS 5000 (Abiomed Cardiovascular, Inc, Danvers, MA) or the Biomedicus centrifugal pump (Bio-Medicus, Inc, Eden Prairie, MN) were used for all patients. Patients were supported for an average of 5 days (range 1-11 days). Eight patients were successfully weaned from the device, with four undergoing transplant. Four patients were discharged and are long-term survivors, and one is still recovering post transplant. Neurologic sequelae were the most common complications in these patients, with four patients having events. Pediatric ventricular assist devices are limited because of size considerations, although current devices can be successfully used for bridging to recovery or transplantation. New devices are needed to meet the flow and size characteristics for pediatric patients. Successful use of assist devices, as has been recognized in adults, is possible in pediatric patients if these requirements are met.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering