Bridge to transplantation with the MicroMed DeBakey ventricular assist device axial pump: A single centre report

Giuseppe Bruschi, Elena Ribera, Marco Lanfranconi, Claudio Russo, Tiziano Colombo, Andrea Garatti, Fabrizio Oliva, Filippo Milazzo, Maria Frigerio, Ettore Vitali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Left ventricular assist devices (VADs) are an accepted therapy to bridge patients with end-stage heart failure to heart transplantation. The DeBakey VAD, a continuous axial flow pump weighing 93 g, has been introduced into clinical practice as a bridge to transplant. METHODS: Starting from April 2000, 17 patients (12 males, five females, mean age 44.3 ± 12.8 years; 11 dilated idiopathic cardiomyopathy, five ischaemic cardiomyopathy, one pulsatile device failure) with end-stage heart failure were implanted with a DeBakey VAD as a bridge to transplantation at our institution. Before implant, all patients suffered from severe heart failure (New York Heart Association functional class IV) despite optimal medical therapy and were put on the waiting list for heart transplantation. Mean cardiac index was 1.59 ± 0.51 l/min/m2. RESULTS: Fourteen patients were successfully transplanted after 99 ± 117 days of assistance (range 11-443 days). Two patients died during assistance of multiorgan failure, one patient is still on VAD. No patient needed additional right ventricular mechanical support. Left ventricular/left VAD thrombosis occurred in one patient who was successfully treated conservatively. No clinical elevation of plasma free haemoglobin was detected. Neither device, driveline, abdominal pocket infection nor device failure occurred. CONCLUSIONS: In our experience with the continuous axial flow DeBakey VAD, a high success rate was obtained associated with a low risk of complications. All the patients tolerated continuous blood flow for extended periods that makes this device a valuable alternative to pulsatile VADs as a bridge to transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • Heart failure
  • Heart transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Bridge to transplantation with the MicroMed DeBakey ventricular assist device axial pump: A single centre report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this