"End stage" heart failure is unresponsive to conventional pharmacological and non pharmacological treatments and has a bad prognosis either regarding survival or quality-of-life; besides cardiac transplantation is limited by organ shortage. Therefore mechanical devices have been developed, initially as "bridge to transplantation" and, more recently, as "destination therapy": definitive treatment for non-transplantable patients. In these patients instrumental evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation are not yet defined and standardized. This paper reports the initial experience realized, as a part of a regional cooperation project within Florence and Siena University Hospitals activities, with the first three male patients, aged 45 to 70 years, affected by end-stage heart failure (NYHA class IV), non-eligible to transplantation, and implanted with Jarvik Flowmaker 2000, an intraventricular axial-flow VAD generating a continuous blood flow. After clinical stabilization, patients underwent a specific evaluation and treatment purposely designed for these subjects during ICU and post-ICU stay and, subsequently, a formal cardiac rehabilitation program. Hemodynamic, bioumoral and functional parameters were recorded at the beginning, during and at the end of intensive rehabilitation program. All patients completed the program, achieving a remarkable and meaningful functional recovery, such to allow them going home, continuing with a self-activity with weekly follow-up in the Rehabilitation Center. The experience acquired by following these patients longitudinally - from the VAD implantation to hospital discharge - allowed us to develop a flow-chart divided in five phases, identifying the main clinical problems, the rehabilitative treatment goals and the useful indicators to define criteria for shift from every phase to the following one.
|Translated title of the contribution||Cardiac rehabilitation of patients with left ventricular assist device as "destination therapy"|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine