Use of the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart in Patients with Cardiac Tumors

The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH) allows for complete resection of the ventricles, including in patients who have cardiac tumors with ventricular involvement, providing long-term support until heart transplantation is possible.

Approximately 25% of primary cardiac tumors are malignant.¹ The majority of these malignant tumors are sarcomas (75%). Symptoms typically result from valve and/or blood flow obstruction. Intra-atrial invasion can lead to arrhythmias, massive pericardial effusion and tamponade. If the mass occurs in the left ventricle or atrium, there is a risk of embolic infarction.²

The incidence of primary cardiac sarcomas in relatively young patients with no predisposing factors is high, and outcomes from traditional treatment methods have been poor. Studies involving treatment with medical therapies alone have shown a 90% mortality rate for primary cardiac sarcoma patients within 9 to 12 months.¹

There is evidence suggesting that when possible, complete resection of the tumor with adjuvant chemotherapy is the course of action that yields the best outcome.³

The SynCardia TAH is the only commercially-approved mechanical circulatory support device that allows complete resection of the ventricles, which may be required to yield the best possible outcome in patients presenting with malignant cardiac tumors. In addition, having the SynCardia TAH on hand as a backup when resecting cardiac tumors provides the surgeon with an alternative, life-saving option if the need for more aggressive surgical removal of the tumor is identified during the operative procedure.

Although patients may not be transplant-eligible at the time of TAH implantation, the TAH is capable of providing long-term support, thereby allowing these patients to receive the necessary medical treatment to facilitate becoming transplant-eligible at a later point in time.


¹Kremer J, Farg M, Arif R, Brcic A, Sabashnikov A, Schmack B, Popov AF, Karck M, Dohmen P, Ruhparwar A, Weymann A: Total Artificial Heart Implantation After Undifferentiated High-Grade Sarcoma Excision, 2016
²Vander Salm TJ: Unusual primary tumors of the heart. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg, 2000; 12(2): 89–100
³Brian A. Bruckner, MD Walid K. Abu Saleh, MD Odeaa Al Jabbari, MD Jack G. Copeland, MD Jerry D. Estep, MD Matthias Loebe, MD, PhD Michael J. Reardon, MD: Total Artificial Heart Implantation after Excision of Right Ventricular Angiosarcoma, 2016

 

Resources

Total Artificial Heart Implantation after Excision of Right Ventricular Angiosarcoma

Read Case Report

Total Artificial Heart Bridge to Transplantation for a Patient with Occult Intracardiac Malignancy

Read Case Report

Total Artificial Heart Implantation After Undifferentiated High-Grade Sarcoma Excision

Read Case Report

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