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BACKGROUND: Recent reports have documented left ventricular recovery in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy off-loaded long term with a left ventricular assist device. We sought to document the natural history of left ventricular recovery. METHODS: We implanted the TCI left ventricular assist device without the intention to perform transplantation in 2 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy who had been rejected for transplantation. Both were in New York Heart Association functional class IV and had renal failure. One was a diabetic. We studied left ventricular function with detailed echocardiography at 4, 6, and 8 weeks postoperatively. RESULTS: With the left ventricular assist device turned off, we observed a progressive increase in myocardial contractility beginning as early as 4 weeks after implantation and improving progressively. Histologic examination showed resolution of myocytolysis in both patients. CONCLUSIONS: Left ventricular recovery begins earlier than was previously suspected. Mechanical bridge to myocardial recovery is a potential approach to therapy for such patients.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/S0003-4975(97)00910-7

Type

Journal article

Journal

Ann Thorac Surg

Publication Date

11/1997

Volume

64

Pages

1303 - 1308

Keywords

Cardiomyopathy, Dilated, Echocardiography, Electrocardiography, Heart-Assist Devices, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Contraction, Ventricular Function, Left