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BACKGROUND: Heart failure is a major public-health concern. Quality and duration of life on maximum medical therapy are poor. The availability of donor hearts is severely limited, therefore an alternative approach is necessary. We have explored the use of a new type of left-ventricular assist device intended as a long-term solution to end-stage heart failure. METHODS: As part of a prospective clinical trial, we implanted the first permanent Jarvik 2000 Heart--an intraventricular device with an innovative power delivery system--into a 61-year-old man (New York Heart Association functional class IV) with dilated cardiomyopathy. We assessed the effect of this left-ventricular assist device on both native heart function and the symptoms and systemic characteristics of heart failure. FINDINGS: The Jarvik 2000 Heart sustained the patient's circulation, and was practical and user-friendly. After 6 weeks, exercise tolerance, myocardial function, and end-organ function improved. Symptoms of heart failure have resolved, and continuous decreased pulse-pressure perfusion has had no adverse effects in the short term. There has been no significant haemolysis and no device-related complications. The skull-mounted pedestal is unobtrusive and has healed well. CONCLUSIONS: The initial success of this procedure raises the possibility of a new treatment for end-stage heart failure. In the longer term, its role will be determined by mechanical reliability.


Journal article



Publication Date





900 - 903


Blood Pressure, Cardiac Output, Cardiac Volume, Cardiomyopathy, Dilated, Electric Power Supplies, Equipment Design, Exercise Tolerance, Follow-Up Studies, Heart, Heart Rate, Heart-Assist Devices, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Contraction, Prospective Studies, Pulse, Stroke Volume, Treatment Outcome, Ventricular Function, Left