First clinical use of a bioprosthetic total artifi cial heart: report of two cases.

Alain Carpentier, Christian Latrémouille, Bernard Cholley, David M Smadja, Jean-Christian Roussel, Elodie Boissier, Jean-Noël Trochu, Jean-Pierre Gueff et, Michèle Treillot, Philippe Bizouarn, Denis Méléard, Marie-Fazia Boughenou, Olivier Ponzio, Marc Grimmé, Antoine Capel, Piet Jansen, Albert Hagège, Michel Desnos, Jean-Noël Fabiani, Daniel Duveau.

Background : The development of artifi cial hearts in patients with end-stage heart disease have been confronted with the major issues of thromboembolism or haemorrhage. Since valvular bioprostheses are associated with a low incidence of these complications, we decided to use bioprosthetic materials in the construction of a novel artifi cial heart (C-TAH). We report here the device characteristics and its fi rst clinical applications in two patients with end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy. The aim of the study was to evaluate safety and feasibility of the CARMAT TAH for patients at imminent risk of death from biventricular heart failure and not eligible for transplant.

Methods : The C-TAH is an implantable electro-hydraulically actuated pulsatile biventricular pump. All components, batteries excepted, are embodied in a single device positioned in the pericardial sac after excision of the native ventricles. We selected patients admitted to hospital who were at imminent risk of death, having irreversible biventricular failure, and not eligible for heart transplantation, from three cardiac surgery centres in France.

Findings : The C-TAH was implanted in two male patients. Patient 1, aged 76 years, had the C-TAH implantation on Dec 18, 2013; patient 2, aged 68 years, had the implantation on Aug 5, 2014. The cardiopulmonary bypass times for C-TAH implantation were 170 min for patient 1 and 157 min for patient 2. Both patients were extubated within the fi rst 12 postoperative hours and had a rapid recovery of their respiratory and circulatory functions as well as a normal mental status. Patient 1 presented with a tamponade on day 23 requiring re-intervention. Postoperative bleeding disorders prompted anticoagulant discontinuation. The C-TAH functioned well with a cardiac output of 4·8–5·8 L/min. On day 74, the patient died due to a device failure. Autopsy did not detect any relevant thrombus formation within the bioprosthesis nor the diff erent organs, despite a 50-day anticoagulant-free period. Patient 2 experienced a transient period of renal failure and a pericardial eff usion requiring drainage, but otherwise uneventful postoperative course. He was discharged from the hospital on day 150 after surgery with a wearable system without technical assistance. After 4 months at home, the patient suff ered low cardiac output. A change of C-TAH was attempted but the patient died of multiorgan failure.

Interpretation : This preliminary experience could represent an important contribution to the development of total artifi cial hearts using bioprosthetic materials.

Funding : CARMAT SA.

First clinical use of a bioprosthetic total artifi cial heart: report of two cases.

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