A longer waiting game: Bridging children to heart transplant with the Berlin Heart EXCOR device - The United Kingdom experience

Jane Cassidy, Troy Dominguez, Simon Haynes, Michael Burch, Richard Kirk, Aparna Hoskote, Jon Smith, Matthew Fenton, Massimo Griselli, Tain Yen Hsia, Lee Ferguson, Carin Van Doorn, Asif Hasan, Ann Karimova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Background Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) is used to support children with end-stage heart failure to heart transplant. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study of 7 years' experience with the Berlin Heart (BH) EXCOR (Berlin Heart AG, Berlin Germany) paracorporeal ventricular assist device (VAD) in 2 United Kingdom (UK) pediatric heart transplant centers and the effect of this program on the UK pediatric heart transplant service. Results Of 102 children who received BH support, 84% survived to transplant or BH explant and 81% survived to discharge. Neither age nor duration of support influenced outcome. Stroke, ongoing requirement for ventilation while on BH, and diagnosis other than dilated cardiomyopathy were the only independent mortality risk factors. Children who weighed < 20 kg had significantly (p = 0.03) longer support times than bigger children. The number of children treated with a BH increased over time (p = 0.01). Currently > 50% of pediatric heart transplants are bridged with a BH; however, pediatric transplants per year have not increased significantly (p = 0.07) Conclusions BH use in the UK has allowed significant increases in the number of children with end-stage heart failure who can be successfully bridged to transplant and the length of time they can be supported. The total number of transplants has not increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1106
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
J.C., S.H., and L.F. have received travel grants from the Berlin Heart Company within the last 3 years to enable attendance at overseas meetings. None of the other authors has a financial relationship with a commercial entity that has an interest in the subject of the presented manuscript or other conflicts of interest to disclose.


  • Berlin Heart EXCOR
  • end stage heart failure
  • heart transplant
  • mechanical circulatory support
  • ventricular assist device


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