Current Cardiology Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 168–175 | Cite as

Mechanical support in acute and chronic heart failure

  • Andreas Brieke
  • Joseph ClevelandJr
  • JoAnn Lindenfeld


Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospital admissions in the United States in people over the age of 65 years. Major advancements in the medical therapy of HF, combined with automatic implantable cardioverterdefibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy, have substantially reduced the mortality and morbidity of chronic HF, but mortality remains high, and the availability of donor hearts for transplantation is limited. Thus, there has been and continues to be a need for alternative therapies to support the failing heart. The development of mechanical pumps designed to assist or replace cardiac function started three decades ago with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s request for proposals to develop an artificial heart. Significant progress has been made, with ventricular assist devices evolving from bulky extracorporeal devices to internalized miniaturized devices. Improvements in durability, thrombogenicity, ease of implantation, and patient selection have allowed expanding indications for these devices.


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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Brieke
    • 1
  • Joseph ClevelandJr
  • JoAnn Lindenfeld
  1. 1.Division of CardiologyUniversity of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences CenterAuroraUSA

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