A recent study shows a completely artificial heart could prevent death in critically ill patients and those who are candidates for a heart transplant . The artificial heart implant improved survival rates before receiving actual heart transplants and after transplantation.
The artificial heart was found to be a successful bridge to heart transplantation in many patients who did not improve with standard therapy and who were not candidates for the use of a left ventricular assist device. The artificial heart also helped promote end-organ recovery and mobility and restored hemodynamic (blood circulation) function.
The CardioWest Total Artificial Heart used in the study replaces both heart ventricles and all cardiac valves, thus eliminating problems commonly seen in the bridge to transplantation with left ventricular and biventricular assist devices. These problems include low blood flows, arrhythmias, and ventricular clots.The rate of survival to transplantation for the patients who received the artificial heart was 79 percent compared to 46 percent for the control patients who did not receive the device.
Researchers say with this device, a considerable number of potential cardiac-transplant recipients who have no other suitable options may successfully await cardiac transplantation.