, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 166-171
Date: 19 Sep 2009

Neurohumoral response and clinical effectiveness of continuous aortic flow augmentation in patients with decompensated heart failure

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The increasing number of patients with progressive or exacerbated heart failure that is refractory to medical treatment necessitates the development of innovative cardiac assist devices. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a new percutaneously inserted system, which allows continuous aortic flow augmentation (CAFA), could be shown to be clinically effective with neurohormonal benefit in patients admitted with decompensated heart failure. Patients with exacerbations of chronic heart failure were recruited for the study. A percutaneous circulation assist device (Cancion system) promoting CAFA was implanted for up to 4 days in each patient. Clinical improvement was evaluated by measuring the clinical status according to the New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification and biochemical parameters including troponin and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) as markers of cardiac necrosis and cardiac overload; these parameters were measured before, during, and after CAFA treatment. The decrease in BNP was determined after implantation, reaching, on average, a maximum decrease of 57% at 72 h (P = 0.04). The neurohumoral response remained significant (P < 0.05) up to 120 h after implantation, with a decrease in BNP levels of 37%, on average, compared to baseline values. Troponin I did not show any significant change during mechanical assistance (P > 0.2). All patients had improved clinical status according to the NYHA classification, and the improvement lasted for more than 1 week. Percutaneous heart-assist devices promoting CAFA offer clinical improvement and a neurohumoral response, with a significant BNP reduction in severe exacerbation of chronic heart failure that is refractory to medical treatment.