Background Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) is used to support children with end-stage heart failure to heart transplant. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study of 7 years' experience with the Berlin Heart (BH) EXCOR (Berlin Heart AG, Berlin Germany) paracorporeal ventricular assist device (VAD) in 2 United Kingdom (UK) pediatric heart transplant centers and the effect of this program on the UK pediatric heart transplant service. Results Of 102 children who received BH support, 84% survived to transplant or BH explant and 81% survived to discharge. Neither age nor duration of support influenced outcome. Stroke, ongoing requirement for ventilation while on BH, and diagnosis other than dilated cardiomyopathy were the only independent mortality risk factors. Children who weighed < 20 kg had significantly (p = 0.03) longer support times than bigger children. The number of children treated with a BH increased over time (p = 0.01). Currently > 50% of pediatric heart transplants are bridged with a BH; however, pediatric transplants per year have not increased significantly (p = 0.07) Conclusions BH use in the UK has allowed significant increases in the number of children with end-stage heart failure who can be successfully bridged to transplant and the length of time they can be supported. The total number of transplants has not increased.
- Berlin Heart EXCOR
- end stage heart failure
- heart transplant
- mechanical circulatory support
- ventricular assist device