1st Findings on Exercise Performance with Total Artificial Heart Published in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
VCU Medical Center's Retrospective Study Compares Patient Exercise Performance and Blood Pressure Response of SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart vs. the HeartMate II LVAD
TUCSON, Ariz. – Nov. 10, 2011 – In the November issue of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (JHLT), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center in Richmond published the first findings demonstrating that physical exercise and measurable rehabilitation are feasible with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart.
The single-center, retrospective study measured blood pressure (BP) response during exercise, exercise duration and change in tolerated exercise workload over an 8-week period. The study included 37 patients implanted with SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart (TAH) and 12 patients implanted with the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
Total Artificial Heart patients began physical rehabilitation at a median of 5 days and treadmill exercise a median of 19 days after implant, with increased exercise intensity and duration over time. Mean arterial BP did not change with exercise in patients with the Total Artificial Heart but did increase in those with an LVAD.
"During circulatory support with a TAH, the BP response to exercise was blunted," the study's authors concluded. "However, aerobic exercise training early after device implantation was found to be safe and feasible in a supervised setting."
Patients who participated in physical therapy early tended to have shorter waiting periods for heart transplantation (60 days vs. 89 days) and significantly higher survival rates to transplantation (100% vs. 70%). At the time of analysis, four of the 30 Total Artificial Heart patients for whom physical rehabilitation data was available were still on device support, while 88% (23/26) of the remaining Total Artificial Heart patients had been transplanted.
About SynCardia Systems, LLC
SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.
Janelle Drumwright, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 547-7463