Bridging patients in cardiogenic shock with a paracorporeal pulsatile biventricular assist device to heart transplantation - a single-centre experience

Sebastian Michel, Stefan Buchholz, Joscha Buech, Tobias Veit, Thomas Fabry, Jan Abicht, Nikolaus Thierfelder, Christoph Mueller, Laura Lily Rosenthal, Jelena Pabst Von Ohain, Nikolaus Haas, Jürgen Hörer, Christian Hagl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the outcome of patients in cardiogenic shock receiving a paracorporeal pulsatile biventricular assist device as a bridge to transplantation. METHODS: We performed a retrospective single-centre analysis of all patients who received a Berlin Heart Excor® at our institution between 2004 and 2019. RESULTS: A total of 97 patients (90 adults, 7 paediatric) were analysed. Eighty-four patients were in Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support level 1 (80 adults, 4 paediatric). Diagnoses were dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 41), ischaemic cardiomyopathy (n = 17) or myocardial infarction (n = 4), myocarditis (n = 15), restrictive cardiomyopathy (n = 2), graft failure after heart transplant (n = 7), postcardiotomy heart failure (n = 5), postpartum cardiomyopathy (n = 3), congenital heart disease (n = 1), valvular cardiomyopathy (n = 1) and toxic cardiomyopathy (n = 1). All patients were in biventricular heart failure and had secondary organ dysfunction. The mean duration of support was 63 days (0-487 days). There was a significant decrease in creatinine values after assist device implantation (from 1.83 ± 0.79 to 1.12 ± 0.67 mg/dl, P = 0.001) as well as a decrease in bilirubin values (from 3.94 ± 4.58 to 2.65 ± 3.61 mg/dl, P = 0.084). Cerebral stroke occurred in 16 patients, bleeding in 15 and infection in 13 patients. Forty-eight patients died on support, while 49 patients could be successfully bridged to transplantation. Thirty-day survival and 1-year survival were 70.1% and 41.2%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A pulsatile biventricular assist device is a reasonable therapeutic option in cardiogenic shock, when immediate high cardiac output is necessary to rescue the already impaired kidney and liver function of the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-949
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Biventricular assist device
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Heart transplant
  • Pulsatile ventricular assist device


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