Tag Archives: LVAD therapy

Technological Advances Lead to Improved Survival with Permanent Left Ventricular Assist Devices


LVAD Case StudySince 1976, when surgeons at Penn State Hershey Medical Center implanted the first Pierce-Donachy left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in the country, the technology has helped thousands of patients with severe heart failure survive until a donor heart is available for transplant. Today, however, Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute uses LVAD therapy not only as a bridge-to-transplant (BTT), but also as long-term destination therapy (DT). In fact, half of the LVAD placements now performed at Penn State Hershey are for DT usage.

Although heart transplantation remains the gold standard for advanced heart failure, LVAD can provide a viable option for many. Patients must have three main qualifications to be considered for LVAD therapy: 1) must be in advanced heart failure, but contraindicated for a heart transplant, or too sick to wait for a transplant, 2) must have reached the limits of medical therapy, and 3) must have a life expectancy of more than two years. Continue reading

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Case study of LVAD therapy in a young patient with the rare heart condition, giant cell myocarditis


  • 37-year-old woman with the rare heart condition, giant cell myocarditis

Clinical Progression

  • Presented with cardiogenic shock and was placed on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).Initially received a HeartWare® LVAD and a CentriMag® right ventricular assist device.
  • Developed heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, and as a result, clotted the LVAD.
  • Additional surgery performed to remove pump and the majority of the heart and replace entire system with original Thoratec pump, T-VAD®, an external pump connected to pipes inside the body.


  • Excellent. After close to ten surgeries and the entire spectrum of available pumps, the goal is heart transplantation.

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